We know the numbers well. They exist in yellowed hardbound books, on the backs of bubblegum cards, in the corners of the mind reserved for more important things. Hank Aaron hit 756 home runs, and Barry Bonds may still be going. Michael Jordan won ten NBA scoring titles and six championships. Jim Brown rumbled for over 12,000 yards in nine seasons and retired only because he didn’t feel like running for 12,000 more. Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a single game and it wasn’t even his most remarkable accomplishment of that season. (Of 3,890 minutes the Philadelphia Warriors played that season, Chamberlain was on the court for all but 8 of them.) These are the sporting feats that were collectively ours as fans, athletic magic tricks that made kids marvel and force us to rub our eyes in amazement years later at the ink in the record books. DiMaggio, fifty-six consecutive, Williams at .406. These numbers are spellbinding twofold; one, because they stand towering above their peers’ best attempts, and two because they surge even higher compared to us, the people sitting and watching. My goodness, could any of us even get one hit in a baseball game? It’s almost unthinkable!
Well, here is unthinkable: in 1953, a 33 year old New Zealand beekeeper named Ed Hilary climbed Mount Everest, a 29,029 foot knife carved in ice. Read More