BOBBY Bajram is no ordinary Australian.
At age 13, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). He was legally blind and in a wheelchair.
Now, he’s turning 53 next month and is on a mission to climb the tallest mountain in the world above sea level – Mt Everest.
And in climbing it on March 29, 2021 – after years of training and eating the right foods – he hopes it’ll inspire others to reach for the sky.
“You can overcome anything if you want to, but you’ve got to give it a crack,” says Bobby.
“It’s not a matter of just getting to the top of Mt Everest, but having a go and doing your best.
“Everybody has their own Mt Everest. It could be a half marathon, losing weight, buying a house, getting promoted – whatever you want to do.
“What’s the negative to life? Death. So, while you’re alive, do what you can.”
Bobby says he’s in a wheelchair for between four and six months of a year.
“MS is like having a really bad flu where you can’t get out of bed and everything aches.”
So, what happens if he can’t go to Mt Everest next year due to COVID-19?
“If there are restrictions, I will go the next year and I will be a year older,” he says.
“For every no you get, you’re closer to a yes.”
Woolamai Beach Surf Life Saving Club had been putting Bobby through his paces to make his dream a reality, as reported by the ABC last year, but he’s since moved to Portsea Surf Life Saving Club – where he’s also an ambassador.
But Bobby says he still trains at Woolamai when he’s in the area.
“Woolamai was fantastic, they’re awesome, but it’s just convenient at Portsea because this is the side of the town I live in.”
As for his advice to others wanting to climb Mt Everest, Bobby says it all comes down to training.
Go and climb some 6000m peaks in the Himalayas, he says.
“Then go for the big ones. It’s like playing AFL, you start off at a smaller league and eventually hope to get to the pinnacle of the AFL.”
There are also news rules for climbing Mt Everest, as reported by The Guardian last year.
“All climbers seeking a permit for Everest must have prior high altitude mountaineering experience and demonstrable training, a high-level commission for the Nepalese government has ruled,” The Guardian reported last year.
Mount Everest reaches an elevation of 8850 metres, according to Britannica.
“The whole training thing is about food, your mindset, and going to where no-one has ever gone before,” says Bobby.
Bobby says he’s got about 80 sponsors and couldn’t do a lot of things if it wasn’t for their support.
“I eat great food that fuels me up from Conscious Cravings, [it’s] vegan-vegetarian in Mordialloc.
“Ezyauto Prestige give me the 4WD to get me up the mountains to train.”
They’re a great help, he says. And Motorsport Wheels and Tyres gets him up the hard mountains with mountain tyres.
Adventure Guides Australia trains him in the Victorian alps at Mount Buffalo.
Fitness First and Good Life train him in their gyms. He’s also been in the Jayco Climate Room where they suck the air out of the room and he trains in 15,000 feet of no air.
He’s also been at Trees Adventure in Belgrave and the BOUNCE Ninja Warrior course.