Meet Felicity Aston
“Why is such a short, easy three letter word but so difficult to answer.”
Felicity Aston is a polar explorer,
to name just one of her adventurous pursuits.
On her list of credits she has:
- Successfully trained a group of international women, some of whom had never seen snow before, to ski, pulling all of their own supplies, across 600 (559) miles of Antarctica frozen land to reach the South Pole.
- Skied solo across Antarctica, fully navigating the breadth of the continent from Ross Ice Shelf to the Rhonne Ice Shelf, a solo journey of 1100 miles (1083mi) and 59 days, becoming the first woman to do so and the third person ever.
- Traveled 23,000 (22369) miles by Land Rover on a journey dubbed “The Pole of Cold” circumnavigating an area of the world considered the coldest inhabited place in the world.
All of these accomplishments were firsts
by the way, firsts in history, ever.
She is 36 years old.
I want to know why she pursues these quests. I want to know what happens in-between, in the darker spots that always come when setting out to achieve something great.
“Why do it?” I wonder.
“How do you go on when it gets hard?” I question.
“What do you gain?” I ask.
And I am inspired by Ms. Aston’s responses.
It was my great fortune she agreed to my interview request and we skyped from Arizona to Iceland one recent early morning.
Ms. Aston thoughtfully answers my questions with her why, a multi-layered answer for a multi-layered question. She searches, like all of us, to find out what truly drives her.
Was it her traveling parents who took her as a young child on what was considered at the time adventurous trips to Greece and Italy?
Was it growing up in South England with beautiful brilliant snow days full of the freedom of no school? When she created a magical playground limited only by her imagination, thus forever linking snow and ice to adventure and excitement?
Or was it just her good fortune to join a Girl Guide Troop (known as Girl Scouts in the States) that chose day trips of sailing adventures and weeklong camping trips, instead of baking cakes and making necklaces?
And then she says…
“In my teenage years I don’t particularly remember seeking out adventure but when I was given the opportunity I would grab it.”
She would grab it.
In her first job after graduating from university she ended up in Antarctica research station for 3 years, and found IT.
Ms. Aston found what we all search for. Something we love and crave and have a hard time putting words to. Something we are willing to give up most things, to get. Something she had no idea was even in her. Something that surprised her when she discovered that “this is where I want to be.” She found it in the South Pole, cold yet free and often alone.
These findings are like gold: they give us clarity and comfort as we slog through the lows and sail through the highs; they give us direction and purpose as we navigate this journey called life.
What opportunity might be sneaking past that YOU need to grab?
Need to be inspired? Watch this:
Stay tuned for more on Felicity Aston as she graciously answers all of my questions and maybe yours too!