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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016

Chicagoan proves anything is possible

Thursday, January 3, 2002

Al Hanna is in pretty fair shape for a 72-year-old. The Chicago businessman stands 5-feet, 4-inches and weighs just 140 pounds. But all things considered, he works out enough to remain in remarkable shape considering his age. Hanna has a daily routine of push-ups and sit-ups. Oh and did I mention that he also climbs a steep hill in Chicago's Lincoln Park each morning for three hours with a 60 pound pack of weights strapped on his back?

You guessed it, Al Hanna is no ordinary man regardless of his age.

Hanna hopes to soon become the oldest climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest. So from 2 a.m.-5 a.m. each day, Hanna and his weighty load climb the largest hill he can find. Time and time again, up the hill and down again as many as 50 times each morning.

Hanna did not take up the climbing obsession until age 58, a time when most of his buddies were discussing retirement. His goal was to climb the highest peak on each continent and now only Everest remains. Two years ago he came with 300 feet of reaching the 29,035-foot summit. Soon he vows to reach his goal.

If successful - and few are doubting him - Hanna would become the oldest climber to reach Everest's peak. Why mountain climbing? Because Hanna says "I felt stale."

Regardless of his physical condition, not just anyone could challenge Everest. It takes thousands of dollars in transportation, lodging, etc. just to get to Everest. And the climb alone comes with a pricetag of around $65,000. That doesn't count the two months required to pursue the feat. Hanna's success in business has allowed him the luxury of reaching his goal. But it's something inside of Hanna that makes it all possible.

It's men like Al Hanna who make you sit back and wonder in amazement. Something deep inside this small man makes him a giant. The dedication and sense of purpose must be overwhelming. But Al Hanna also shows the rest of us that anything is possible. Dreams can come true with hard work, dedication and a goal. Throw in a 60 pound pack on your back and countless early morning hours and you've got Al Hanna.

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