Saturday, April 6, 2013

Do, or Do Not. There is No Try!

As I have been writing and talking about The South Pole Epic I typically talk about how I will do this not now I will attempt to do this. This is intentional. Biking across Antarctica is going to be extremely challenging, not only physically, but also mentally, and emotionally. I need to train for all aspects of the expedition.

Physical Training

The first time I did a 200 mile one day bike ride, I trained all summer for the event. A 100 mile one day mountain bike ride is harder that a 200 mile road bike ride. I have trained for several of those. However, I have gotten to the point that I no longer train for 200 mile road bike, or 100 mile mountain bike rides. I can just hop on the bike and go for that distance. Riding to the South Pole however, is different. I am training for  the South Pole expedition. The sad thing is conditioning is lost quite quickly, so the more intense part of my training will be in the Fall as I get ready for repeated days of being on the bike all day.

Endurance in full sail c. 1915

Mental/Skills Training

There are a lot of things I have to know to complete this expedition. Some of that knowledge comes from life long experiences of outdoor living and winter camping. However this expedition requires extra training. Fortunately I have some great resources available. There is no way I could accomplish this without the Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions. We are also planning other training for polar travel. I'll give more detail on this as things develop.

Emotional Training

And now the real point of this blog entry. When trying to decided whether or not to do this expedition I read the blogs from other explorers. One of the amazing expeditions last season was that of Aaron Lisdau. I believe he set the record for the longest time to cross Antarctica to the South Pole by ski. When I finally decided that I would do this, I decided I wanted to be like Aaron. I want to have an attitude that I will complete this expedition. I fear that talking of the possibility of failure makes it easier to quit. Yes, there is a possibility that we don't succeed in our expedition to the South Pole. However, I think the expedition will be amazing no matter the outcome. One of the amazing stories of Antarctic expeditions is that of Shackleton's "failed" expedition.

A Mind Game

One of my faults is that I don't know when to quit. When it comes to this expedition I believe that fault becomes and advantage. However, my normal tendency to continue in spite of the conditions may not be enough. So, I am playing a bit of a mind game with myself. I am intentionally building an attitude of continuing as long as even the remotest possibility of success still exists. Quitting just can not be an option. So I am fostering in myself the belief that I will succeed. There will be some who will say the challenge is too hard, that for some reason I am not worthy of such an expedition. That is fine, they can believe what they want, but I must believe that I will complete the expedition.

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