As I prepare for what could be the ‘rest of my life’ (?) journey as a One Point Zero Activist, I went back to 2010 and my Pre- expedition feeling on my North Pole expedition. The feelings of fear and excitement are so similar, and surprisingly to the same intensity, but the basis are so different:
My blog post back then:
Probably, in anticipation of our departure this morning, I had a fairly restless night, and woke up a bit lonely…that sort of ‘alone-ness’ that I have experienced before, and which is the necessary reality of mentally preparing myself for the hard ‘solo’ personal struggle ahead. While there is lots of emotional support from many (Thanks!) this ‘alone-ness’ is about being physically alone, socially isolated from normal ‘luxuries’, and me being 100% responsible for getting my mind and body to the Pole without help and harm. I found my mind drifting back to some of my previous solo adventures, dwelling on both the very high and the very low spots, and how I rose to the adversities.
I even skimmed through my ‘past adventure’ photos and gradually the ‘fear’ transformed into huge excitement and confidence. While the cold of the Arctic and the pulling of a sled are new challenges, I quickly locked on to the ‘strength of mind’ I have built up across many first time, and difficult situations with the diversity of solo cycling, sailing and sea kayaking adventures I have done.
When I looked at it like that, This Arctic challenge is now not totally new and scary, but rather a more extreme version of a well know path for me. That simple twist, removes the fear, and taps into my spirit of adventure and the desire to extend my already honed skills and competencies…… This may however be the most demanding adventure yet! I thanked my ‘lucky stars’ for having the privilege to be able to immerse myself in this experience.
In this world where I am currently ‘playing’, I am intrigued by the discussions that go around whether Everest is more difficult than the North Pole, and what is bigger better, harder, etc…? As a solo sailor, and solo adventurer, I am alone in these circles. Few know the world of the ocean sailor, and even less the perspective of the solo adventurer, these are expedition team people, and mainly mountaineers / serious polar adventurers.
Almost without exception all the people I have met since embarking on this polar diversion, openly state they would “never go solo”, nor see the attraction of solo pursuits. I do understand and respect their perspective, but inside me I know that somehow the solo adventurer is the purist of them all!
After listening to these discussions about which is the hardest, biggest etc, I just can’t wait to put this North Pole team expedition experience into context of my my solo world, and be able to have my measurement scale….
In some ways I feel sad that I have been sucked up into this senseless ranking and in my view ego driven debate. I hope that knowing my own truth will give me the freedom to remain peacefully quiet in the presence of these discussions. ….”
Believe it or not: This One Point Zero Activist journey is feeling many times more scary, but these past adventures have built inside me courage and determination to stay on the path where the Truths lie…..
You can read about my Past Adventures here