29 – What I am most proud of…

Since the recovery for frostbite is a lot longer than I expected, I've had to cancel all my next trips... 

Climbing Mt. Vinson
The North Pole 
Svalbard
Polar training in Norway
Almost certainly the Galapagos too 

All of these are now off.

I realize in the grand scheme of things, this is not the end of the world and people have much bigger problems. But I've worked hard, trained hard and planned all of this for over a year, so it is a bit disappointing. 

In a way, it would be a easier to take if I did something stupid to cause my frostbite and it was clearly my fault. But in this case, I didn't do anything careless and this still happened, so that stings a little.

But here's the thing... 

The mission isn't over.

While I am a bit disappointed from time to time, overall I'm in great spirits and the plan hasn't changed one bit. All that's changed is the timeline. 

I may not have reached the South Pole this time, but I will be back and am still damn proud of what I did achieve out there...

I became one of only 26 people to have skied up the challenging, remote and highly crevassed Axel Heiberg glacier. 

I absolutely crushed it mentally, physically and spiritually. I was a warrior out there.

One of my teammates nicknamed me icebreaker because of my willingness to be up front while skiing. I'm going to hold on to that nickname :) 

I had only a few moments where I would deem my mindset to be less than perfect, which considering the brutal nature of polar exploration, I'm not beating myself up too much about. Besides, I always rose back up very quickly and I've learned what to improve upon for next time.

No matter how tough things got, I kept moving forward and always brought the smile back.

But what I am most proud of from this trip was the contribution I made to the team. It was the degree to which I embodied the "service before self" and "no one gets left behind" mentality. 

Right before I got on the plane, my teammate told me...

"You are always positive. A great teammate who is always willing to help. We will miss you."

That meant the world to me.

I think about my team daily and hope they are doing well out there... 

“AKSHAY WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT FEAR” – CAL NEWPORT

Related Articles

31 – Why do we fall?

30 – The toughest challenge with frostbite

28 – The worst part about being evacuated early

27 – I owe a debt of gratitude

26 – My trip is over…

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