Probably one of the hardest ideals to learn is compassion; to genuinely care for another human being selflessly. To be able to empathize with an individual’s condition and ailments that has no relation to you. The desire to, not only understand but be so moved with emotion that you want to help. For some we never learn that form of love. For most, it takes years for us to understand that lesson. If we’re lucky, it comes to us naturally. With the right combination of direction and faith we can move mountains. Or in this case, climb them.
Kevin Armstrong lead his 9 year old son Tyler Armstrong up 22,841 feet of merciless mountain side known as MT. Aconcagua. The mountain is located in Argentina, where the temperature drops to as cold as -4◦ F. The weather is so severe that the family needed approval from the local courts before attempting such an awe-inspiring task. The minimum required age for such a perilous journey is 14. The father-son duo were no strangers to the apparent danger they faced. They have also climbed to the tops of MT. Whitney and MT. Kilimanjaro. They were confident that the court would permit them to make their ascent.
What’s the reason? To assist Cure Duchenne. A company that raises money and awareness for the muscle wasting disease called Duchenne. The afflicted are typically young boys diagnosed by the age of 5 leaving them in wheelchairs. Most don’t make it past their 20s.
On December 17, Tyler set the world record for being the youngest person to climb MT. Aconcagua. Tyler, who does not suffer from the disease, is also probably the youngest person to have a solid understanding of compassion. Kevin had to ensure his son received the proper two week training to prepare him for the climb. In my opinion, Tyler is already prepared for life. His father has managed to successfully instill upon him one of life’s biggest lesson: compassion.