Back from the Cold

Johanna Davidsson is a pioneering polar explorer, a record-breaking long-distance skier, and a nurse. Last year she was the fastest woman to ski to the South Pole breaking at least 4 records along the way.

Whether or not something is extraordinary is off course always an individual opinion. However, I am sure you will agree that this Swedish woman is living a both unique and extraordinary life.

The winds are strong and cold on the South Pole. Foto: Johanna Davidsson

Not only is Johanna Davidsson, 33, the first woman ever to ski solo to the South Pole. She also is the fastest woman ever to ski to the South Pole (38 days, 23 hours and 5 minutes) and the fastest person in the world to travel to the South Pole and back (56 days).

 “If you work hard and believe in what you are doing that will always pay off”.

Walking on Ice – Survival and Success

Johanna Davidsson made in to the South Pole in December 2016. Foto: Johanna Davidsson.

Even though there are no dangerous animals like Polar bears at the South Pole – it would not be exactly truthful to describe the region as a safe place to visit.

With temperatures down to minus 30 degrees and strong icy winds, mental and physical preparation is crucial for survival and success.

Adding to that pulling a 110 kg sledge over a glacier with the risk of falling down in a crevasse – the obvious question that comes to mind is asking her is why do this at all?

“Hard work and persistence. Never give up. If you believe in it yourself then keep going”

What compels you to go out on a mind boggling expedition like this one?

“I like traveling by my own schedule and be the one making decisions, the planning and also be responsible for the consequences of my actions. I was never someone to travel in larger guided groups and follow somebody else’s agenda. On a journey like this to the South Pole – I was in charge in everything from the smallest preparation to the speed of traveling.”

 

Roller Coaster Days

Johanna Davidsson is a trained nurse working in Tromsö, Norway. She took a leave of absence from the hospital to go on her South Pole expedition.

Explorer Johanna Davidsson celebrated her birthday on her way to the Pole. Foto: Johanna Davidsson.

Being a nurse she is very well aware of the vital importance of keeping both the body and mind in shape.

“The days on the ice were like a roller coaster. One moment I felt like the strongest woman on the planet being grateful and proud to pursue my dream.

However, this experience could quickly transform into a more negative feeling of an overwhelming tiredness. I just wanted to stop skiing and take a break”.

Johanna Davidsson honestly describes some of the ups and downs during her 38 days to the South Pole.

Regular showering was not an option. Johanna Davidsson admits after 19 days she did not smell of roses. Foto: Johanna Davidsson.

“No matter how tired I felt in my bones or how heavy my head felt on my shoulders I never gave up. I always knew where I wanted to go; I had my mind set on the goal.”

Rescued by Airplane

Johanna Davidsson recalls one time especially when she felt as if everything was against her:

The air was getting thinner as she had gotten higher up on the Arctic plateau; the snow was sticky and made the sledge hard to pull.

“The days on the ice can be like a roller coaster. One moment I felt like the strongest woman on the planet being grateful and proud to pursue my dream. This experience could, however, quickly transform into a more negative feeling of an overwhelming tiredness.”

All in all it was difficult to keep on moving and getting an easy ticket out of there seemed like a really nice idea.

“I remember asking myself: OK – Johanna: If an airplane came right now to pick me up – would I take the ride home? The first answer that came to my mind was of course not! When I set out on this journey I knew it would be hard and I was not prepared to quit!”

Knowing what she wanted kept her going and ten days later she reached her goal.

Puling a 110 kg sledge on her journey. Foto: Anna Lovehed.

Self-confidence and Persistence

According to Johanna Davidsson a key feature to reach a goal in life is the importance of a positive mindset and not being too hard on oneself.

Not only in the case of a mentally and physically exhausting exhibition to the South Pole – but any goal in life.
When asked about what advice she would give to someone who wants to reach a goal she replies instantly:

“Hard work and persistence. Never give up. If you believe in it yourself then keep going. Do not listen to all the neigh-sayers. If you work hard and believe in what you are doing that will always pay off”.

Johanna Davidsson broke four records on her amazing journey. Foto: Anna Lovehed.

The 4 records Johanna Davidsson broke during her expedition:

1: First Swedish woman to ski solo to the South Pole
2: Fastest woman in the world skiing solo to the South Pole (38 days, 23 hours and 5 minutes)
3: First Swedish to travel return and back to the South Pole from the coast
4: Fastest person in the world going to the South Pole and back from the coast (56 days)

You can read her blog posts from her adventure here: www. solosister.se

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