Our first Arctic blog is with Team Borne’s superwoman, Georgie Breitmeyer. As the country commemorates the milestone anniversary of 100 years since women won the right to vote, we spoke to Georgie about how she’s preparing for this extreme challenge as the only female team member.
How do you feel about being the only female team member?
I’ve had many conversations with people about whether or not I’ll be as strong as everyone on the team and whether being a woman amongst nine men will hinder me. I genuinely believe that strength is not measured in terms of how big your muscles are or how many marathons you’ve done. Strength for me comes in many different forms, mental, physical and emotional. I think what’s more important is as a team we will offer each other different forms of strength along the way.
What are you looking forward to the most (and least) about the challenge?
Very rarely in life do we get the chance to be in an environment where you are stripped of modern luxuries, an environment where you learn about yourself, your body and basic human needs. We are more dependent on the modern environment than ever. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and look at what you have in order to appreciate it.
What I’m looking forward to least is the freezing cold temperature. The Arctic weather can reach as low as -45°C! I’ve done cold weather challenges before but this will be the coldest environment I will ever have been in by far.
You’re a producer with KO Productions and you’ll be making a short film about the Challenge. What are you hoping to achieve with the film?
I’m hoping to capture a film that shows the emotional pain families go through when they lose a baby at preterm birth. Also the lengths parents will go to raise awareness and money for a cause that could one day prevent prematurity. We are currently at a stage where people ask why but very few have the answer.
You recently took part in the IGO Norwegian challenge and came 10th. Did that make you want to do something bigger?
IGO was an amazing experience for me, I learnt a lot about myself, my body and what I was capable of. I had never run a marathon before or been cross country skiing so I had a lot to learn and fast. Coming 10th was merely down to my team mate Nicky. Without her I wouldn’t have made the finish line. That experience taught me the importance of team work when things get really tough.
The North Pole was something I thought about, but I honestly never thought I’d get the chance to go. I have a very time-consuming job and being able to take time out to train for an adventure like this and also do the actual trek is next to impossible. When this opportunity came around I managed to convince my boss that taking some time off from work to walk to the North Pole was a great idea. I am sure when we get there I will be grateful but right now the training is almost harder than my job!
How are you training for the challenge, are you eating a special diet, doing 10,000 steps a day?
I’ve been advised by Alan Chambers (our polar explorer guide) that the muscles you need for hauling the sledge are your cycling muscles and core muscles. I’ve been doing a mixture of spinning, weights and hauling a tyre up and down fields for four to six hours a week.
If you could take one luxury item with you on the trek what would it be?
A hot bath would be top of the list! The weight of my sledge will be around 40-50KG and we can only pack the essentials but if I could take anything it would be a game of backgammon.
What music has been on your playlist to get you through the training?
Throughout my training I’ve been listening to Alt-J, Portugal Man and Rufus Du Sol, to name a few.