“Fear is OK, it is a normal human emotion. Complacency is what will kill you.”
Alison Levine, mountaineer and team captain of the first-ever American women’s Everest expedition team, wants you to know that you don’t have to risk your life on a mountain to feel adventure.
Although, that’s certainly something Levine has on her list of accomplishments. As a pioneer in mountaineering and expeditions, Levine accomplished the Explorer’s Grand Slam, meaning that she has climbed the highest peak in all seven continents and skied the North and South poles.
Growing up in the oftentimes scorching desert of Phoenix, it was common for Levine to daydream of a much colder place. Much colder being the harshest, coldest environments on Earth—Antarctica, of course.
“When I was younger I was always intrigued by the stories of the Arctic and Antarctica explorers, the frontiers and mountaineers. So, I would read books and I would watch documentary films—but I never thought I’d actually go to any of those places because of my health,” Levine says.
Levine was born with a hole in her heart, and it continued to grow until she required open heart surgery at just 17 years old. The surgery was not successful, and Levine needed a second heart surgery at 30 years of age.
“At that point, a light bulb went off in my head,” shared Levine. “I thought, ‘OK, if I want to know what it was like to be those polar explorers going to these remote destinations, then maybe I should go there instead of just reading about them or watching documentaries. I need to be there and if these other guys can go and do it why can’t I?’ So I climbed my first mountain when I was 32 years old.”
Sometimes, you train your hardest and there are simply circumstances you cannot control. But as Levine said, it’s not about being the fastest, or strongest or the best, it’s about being relentless.
“What you have to remember is that discomfort can actually make you stronger. Once you figure out that you can push past discomfort and be OK with being in a state of discomfort, that is what helps build resilience,” said Levine in our latest podcast. “And you can always take one more step even when you feel like you can’t. And then you can take one more.”
This is something Levine learned quickly in her first adventures, specifically when Levine trekked through Antarctica on a two-month journey while carrying her belongings harnessed to her in a 150-pound sled. Levine went out on weekends and trained for several months before heading out on her grand adventure.
“The way to best prepare is to simulate as close as possible what you’re going to be doing. No amount of running, swimming or cycling is going to prepare you. That’s really good for your cardiovascular and overall training, but you’ve got to simulate what you’re going to be doing,” said Levine.
For Levine, that meant dragging tires harnessed to her body across the sands of Ocean Beach in San Francisco.
“I was in northern California when I was training, so the thing I did that was close to dragging a sled across the ice was I went to the beach and dragged car tires along Ocean Beach,” said Levine. The funny thing is that I thought I would be prepared because I did work hard for hours and hours dragging those tires.”
“When it came time for the real thing, the balming temperatures of -50 degrees was one thing, but the other thing is I’m 5’ 4” about 110 pounds give or take and I just couldn’t keep up with my teammates who were a lot larger and stronger than I was. It was just a rude awakening for me because I always assumed that if you trained really hard, you’re going to be ready. Luckily, I had amazing people on the team who were willing to sacrifice for me and help me with some of the weight on my sled because they realized I was so much smaller that I was struggling, and I’ll never ever forget the sacrifice my team made for me.”
This was just the start to Levine building her superpower of being relentless, as we said before (but we’ll say again), Levine went on to climb the highest peak of every continent, skied through the North and South poles and was the captain of the first-ever women’s Everest Expedition team.
And now she’s bringing that adventure to you. But luckily, with a lot less hardships and a lot more luxury.
ADVENTURE LIKE LEVINE WITH A SEABOURN CRUISE TO ANTARCTICA
Dragging a 150-sled across the ice for two months living on nothing but oatmeal, sticks of butter and freeze-dried meals is certainly not for everyone.
But the beauty of Antarctica is something you simply can’t find anywhere else, and that’s why Levine has partnered with Seabourn Cruise Line, to bring you Adventure Travel with luxury all along the way.
“I really feel like I was put on this Earth to open up a world of adventure for other people,” Levine says. “Especially for people who might feel some fear about going to these remote, harsh environments. Now there is a way you can go there without the discomfort, you can experience the incredible beauty of the continent which is what stays with me so much.”
Whether you’re seeking out adventure or would rather sail in luxury, this cruise line is made for everyone.
“Adventure Travel is anything that pushes you out of your boundaries and now with this Seabourn Adventure partnership, I get to help hundreds of people do that,” said Levine.
Article Source: Iconic Life Magazine