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Mar 29, 04 - One year ago today  Global SchoolNet
 Mar 29, 2004 15:21 PST 

Mar 29, 04 - One year ago today

Today is a special day, of sorts, for me. It was exactly one year ago I
decided to go to the North Pole.

I hadn't done anything 'major' since I rode my bicycle solo across America
in 2000. I had been surfing the web, checking out interesting and unusual
adventures. I found a site that offered skydiving at the North Pole. I'm a
skydiver and I thought that might be really neat. But it seemed too 'easy'.

Then I read about guided tours of 'the last degree'. It takes one week, 60
miles, and you don't need to be in tip-top shape. Still too easy.

Then I found that people go all the way from land to the pole! The instant I
saw that, I knew that it was the perfect challenge for me. I didn't say
anything to anyone, and let the idea rumble around my brain for a little

After a short weekend getaway, I went back online to research how feasible
my idea might be. I searched for every site that had anything to do with
explorers and the North Pole. I started contacting others that had done or
attempted the trek and asked for advice.

I found major obstacles, mostly the expense involved, but continued to learn
how others had done it. Within a few days I started making my idea known to
others. I checked out books about other expeditions, marketing, and
publicity from the library. Spent many hours online researching, planning,
and learning.

And now, I lay in my sleeping bag, out on the frozen arctic ocean. I've
already accomplished most of my goal and I feel I've achieved a good deal of
success. Of course I want to reach the North Pole, but even if I don't, I've
achieved a lot and am satisfied to have made it this far.

Today, I've also been pinned-down by high winds, some snow, and white-out. I
don't mind moving in such conditions, but putting up the tent can be a huge
problem. Huge problems out here can mean loosing toes, fingers, or even
one's own life.

I know the clock is ticking, and I feel more pressure every day. I try to
stay positive and focused on my goal. I keep hoping for normal positive ice
drift, normal weather, and normal ice conditions.

I may have shared this already, but visitors to my site have asked if I get
scared. Of course I do! I'm probably not the bravest person you could meet,
but the important thing I don't let fear stop me. It's healthy and natural
to be afraid, but I try to turn my fear into strength and help carry me
forward. It's okay to be afraid, just don't let it stop you from reaching
for your own goals.
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