One of the runners in Sunday’s New York City Marathon is 64, completely blind, and running for a great cause: helping children in the developing world get cataracts operations. To know Miles Hilton-Barber is to admire him, a man who truly lives by his words: “The only limits in our lives are those we accept ourselves.”
Although a hereditary condition deprived Barber of sight at the age of 21, he was determined not to let anything stop him from living life to the fullest. Today, Barber is known as the “blind adventurer,” because he has sledded 250 miles across Antarctica, run 150 miles across the Sahara Desert, completed the 11-day ultra-marathon across China from the Gobi Desert to the Great Wall, and piloted 21,000 km from London to Sydney. And that's just the shortlist: Barber's adventures also include skydiving, swimming with sharks and white water rafting. And now the New York City Marathon.
How does he do it? When Barber isn't surmounting new challenges, he works as a motivational speaker. Here, he shares his top tips on living life to the fullest and staying fit and healthy:
1. Keep an honest diet diary of everything you eat and drink. Every day.
2. Structure regular exercise into your busy week — it's a business commitment, not a luxury.
3. If you find exercise hard, remember to start with baby steps with walking, cycling, jogging, or sessions at the gym. Walking at a good pace for 45 minutes three times a week will help you stay fit. Remember: exercise is a wonderful stress-reliever!
4. Set a goal: it could be completing a sporting event or supporting a charity that's dear to you, for example.
5. Get a friend or family member to exercise with you — it’s more fun!
6. Remember that you only have one life here on Earth, and that YOU are a very precious, important person, so stop stealing time from yourself and spend time with those who really matter in your life.
7. Today is the day to take stock of your life, what you're doing with your time, your energy, your health and your life.
8. Today is a gift, so enjoy it and use it wisely. Remember that there is more to life than material possessions.
9. Success in life is not measured by money, but by your quality of life and how fulfilled and happy you are.