Written by Kate Branciforte, editorial intern
Could you ever imagine skiing across Antarctica? How about skiing across Antarctica alone?
Felicity Aston, a 33-year old explorer from Great Britain, did just that last month, and now holds the title as the first women in history to cross the continent. She is also now the world record holder for the longest solo journey ever made by a woman! Talk about girl-power.
Aston began skiing during her first trip to Antarctica when she was 23, and has enjoyed the sport ever since. For the past 10 years, Aston has taken expeditions all over the world and in 2006 she started to lead these expeditions. After training a group of women for their first trip to the South Pole, she decided to make the trek by herself.
Why did you want to do this alone?
I did it alone because I think I was curious to see if I could. When I hear about an expedition, my question is always, “Would I behave in that way?” and I was curious to find out if I could.
How did you train?
It was all about endurance and stamina. I did a lot of high-intensity walks while pulling tires with a harness along the beach. The sand is very similar to snow. The training isn’t something I enjoy, but it was a means to an end. I need to do this or else I would not be able to do that.
What did you take with you?
It had to be very lightweight, because I was pulling absolutely everything. I started out with two sleds that weighed almost 190 pounds—that’s like a full-grown man! I didn’t have as much clothing as you would think.
To hear about Aston’s 5,000-calorie diet and how she dealt with fear, click below.
For winter sport newbies, the slopes can sure be intimidating. Staring down a steep hill and plunging off the top…I can just feel my heart beating faster thinking about it! Thankfully, there are many resources available to make novices more comfortable, and many of them have teamed up in January for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.
Last year during the festivities, instructors offered more than 75,000 beginner lessons and passed along priceless scoop about how to fuel winter activities, what to wear when on the hills and lifts for hours and how to stay safe. You can also find retailers and resorts near you to gear up and plan your next adventure—Vail, anyone?
For all of the details, visit skiandsnowboardmonth.org and stay tuned because next Friday our fashion team will be pulling together their favorite looks for your snow adventures this season here on The Fit Stop!
And for tips straight from the pros, look no further:
- Olympic Snowboarder Hannah Teter’s Workout
- Lindsey Vonn’s Fitness and Motivation Tips
- Learn How to Snowboard Gretchen Bleiler-style
Now tell us: Are you a snow bunny? What is your favorite snow sport?
World class skiier Lindsey Vonn is riding high after her giant slalom win in Austria last weekend, where she completed her career-long quest to win all five Alpine ski events (slalom, giant slalom, super-G, downhill and super combined). She is only the second American, after Bode Miller, to accomplish such a feat! Fresh off her victory, Vonn set aside time to fill us in on what’s new in her world since she graced the cover of FITNESS in February, and share six fitness tools and tips she can’t live without.
- Motivation trick: “I’m generally very motivated, but I do have days when I struggle to get out of bed,” Vonn admits. One thought that’s sure to get her moving? “I consider what my competitors are doing!” You can use a similar tactic by signing up for a local road race or team sport and using your fellow runners or opposing team members to give you an incentive to get up and go.
- Top equipment investment: “The TRX Suspension system is great because you can use it for core, lower body, upper body and balance,” Vonn says. “Plus it’s perfect for travel.”
- Must-do move: Vonn swears by squats, not only because they strengthen her legs for skiing, but also because they offer a do-anywhere workout that only requires your body weight. “I do two minutes straight of squats, rest for a few minutes and repeat that once or twice more. It really gets my legs burning,” Vonn explains.
- Trusty top: “I live in Under Armour ColdGear in the winter, especially the Fitted Mock turtleneck,” Vonn says.
- Long-term goal: When we asked her if we could look forward to seeing her at the next winter Olympic games in 2014, Vonn simply said, “definitely.”
- Pep-up playlist: These songs are currently on repeat on Vonn’s iPod during training: