Mark knows a lot about making his way to the tops of places. He made his way up to some of the higher reaches of the business world before retiring in 2018 and moving to Florida, but Mark’s climb up the corporate ladder pales in comparison to the trekking he’s done in the natural world where he has hiked into, across, and up the sides of some of the more challenging and fascinating places on earth.
Living comfortably with his wife Ruthann in Florida’s Boynton Beach, this 69-year-old retired insurance industry executive recounts his climb up the corporate ladder, and shares how he stays in shape by working out regularly and running five miles two or three times a week.
And then, almost as an afterthought, Mark mentions, “I’m very much into backpacking, trekking and mountain climbing,” and all at once Mark becomes the exact opposite of a retiree sitting around in the Florida sunshine. He’s something else entirely, and, as the story unfolds, his wife Ruthann turns out to be as much of a high endurance enthusiast as her husband, like the time she led the pack on a 10- mile trek to Iceberg Lake in Montana two years ago.
Mark’s litany of treks includes the four-day backpacking hike he and four friends made from the North Rim to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, going down the challenging North Kaibob Trail into the canyon, across the footbridge over the Colorado River, and up and out of the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. “It was magnificent,” he recalls. “We hired a geologist as our guide so it was also an educational experience.”
The following year, Mark and the same group of buddies climbed California’s Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the Lower 48. After summiting Mount Whitney, Mark and his hiking pals flew down to Peru and hiked the Inca Trail in the Andes Mountains for three days to Machu Picchu. Last year, the same five buddies flew to Iceland and trekked along the other-worldly Laugavegur Trail for five days.
Mark says he’s gained an important insight into life on a crowded planet. “There’s something about being out in the middle of nowhere. There’s a greater appreciation for nature when you take the human element and modern civilization out of it. You just get an appreciation for what earth was like before we had 7.8 billion people on it.”
Prevagen came into Mark’s life thanks to Ruthann and her own focus on fitness and a healthy life. “Ruthann said we should try Prevagen,” Mark reports. “She went out and bought it and I really began to feel a difference, so now we never miss a day.”
“I think that it has an impact on my memory as I’m aging. I don’t know how else to describe it. Prevagen makes me feel more confident,” he adds.
As for what all he’s learned on his own long trek through his life, Mark just says, “Have a code of conduct in life that begins with the Golden Rule. Be good to others you meet along the way, and be a more focused participant in your own life.”