In Iceland With The Willis Group Team

29th October 2013, 05:15pm

This week, I’m in Iceland with some of the Willis team. Things are starting to fall into place. I’m starting to receive gear shipments from manufacturers and organize them in my dorm room at school. I guess it’s all getting pretty serious. There’s a part of me that wants to monumentally freak out, but then I remember that we’ve been planning this for the better part of two years. I’ve trained longer than for any other expedition I’ve done, which has been necessary. Now that we’re in the final month, we have to focus on the last training sessions, sleeping, eating, stretching… and getting excited.

Training has been a journey in itself. I’m not an athlete, but I have to think and act like one. That’s always been a challenge, but a fun one. I’m lucky that my trainer knows exactly what I have to do, and I try to follow his advice to the letter. Sometimes it’s harder than I feel like doing (a lot of the time) but that’s the whole point. I don’t think anyone ever looks forward to walking two hours with a 70-pound weight vest, rowing 20 kilometers, or doing “death by pull-ups”, but it’s always enjoyable to know that I’m making progress.

In these expeditions, everybody has their own approach. For me, the mental state is the most important aspect. Being mentally strong enables the unleashing of physical power and endurance. A big part of this journey has been learning to live alongside discomfort and preparing for the inevitable frictions (John has been helping me a lot with that). I guess that’s just a glorified way of saying we have to “deal with it”. There are some mental strategies that I’m preparing for the expedition. These include different ways to break down large distances, keeping my mind active with different mind exercises, avoiding the “countdown” mentality, etc.

In the next month, the aim will be to finish off big pieces of the project. We will finish sorting gear, have all the scientific equipment organized and shipped, etc. etc. but I’ll also have to finish all my school work for the semester before heading to Chile. In fact, the next thing I’m going to do after writing this is create a day by day plan for the last month before the expedition to Antarctica.

I’d like to sign off my thanking all of my partners: Willis, EMC, Amcor, Agility Logistics, Analog Devices, Algebris Investments, Initiative, and One Young World.

This has been an incredible journey so far, I’m very lucky to have the support of these amazing organizations.

I hope to write about more specific aspects of the expedition as we get closer, but in the mean time, thanks for reading!