Day Fifteen: 166 miles travelled, 534 miles remaining
In 2014, my husband Matt – made it to the final two in the selection process for Ben Fogle’s team-mates for an expedition to the South Pole, in which they set out to recreate the famous ‘Race to the Pole’ by Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen 100 years earlier for the BBC series On Thin Ice.
While Matt ultimately wasn’t selected for the team, Ben sent me these kind words ahead of my challenge, and like all encouragement I’ve received I know it’ll be a source of inspiration as I continue my challenge.
Antarctica is like heaven and hell. There will be days when it is so beautiful she will bring tears to your heart and there will be days when she is so brutal she will bring tears to your eyes. She is many contradictions. Endless, lifeless, bright, brutal, brilliant. There are highs and lows. Peaks and troughs. They will hit you like waves. They change from minute to minute and hour to hour. I can remember the endless hours of sliding one foot in front of the other. Staring down at the whiteness. Sastrugi (ridges in the hard snow caused by the wind) would take on hallucinogenic shapes. Sometimes it felt like being inside a snow dome. Sometime it felt like I was upside down.
There is no where on earth like Antarctica. Barren and empty and yet so full of hope. Remember to lift your eyes to that seemingly endless horizon. Lift your head and smile. Remember where you are and how lucky you are to be there where so few others have been. Think of Scott. Shackleton. Amundsen. Think of your family and think of those rooting for you back at home. You have the power to hold back those waves of doubt and suffering. Don’t give into the voice of doubt. Focus on the positives and beauty.
Sometimes I dream about Antarctica. I imagine myself back on that vast plain. You don’t have to. Because you are there…
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