They became the first women to cross Antarctica on foot—the equivalent of skiing from New York to Denver in minus-30-degree weather—each dragging a 250-pound sled of supplies. For 94 days the duo skied more than ten hours single file. Every night it took four hours to melt their drinking water.
Secrets: "In the long, difficult periods, I would say to myself, Take this day as it comes—try to stay in the moment," says Arnesen. "When some people hit a wall, they go into a depression. I change the focus; I think I can do it another way. If you don't try, you can never go forward."
Bancroft: "You have to have a personality that's willing to adapt to the situations that present themselves, because sometimes you have good days and sometimes you don't. You have to honor that and still make the push.
"And also what drove me was the three million kids around the world following us via the Internet and satellite phones. So when I was tired, I was thinking about those kids. They were on my sled."
In 1998 her first book about making optimal use of your living space, The Not So Big House, became a best-seller. In 2000 she published Creating the Not So Big House, and then started working on Not So Big Solutions For Your Home. After her initial success, she fended off a minimum of 15 requests a day for interviews and speaking engagements.
Secrets: "My life turned upside down. I felt as if I were at the eye of a hurricane, and I knew the most important thing for me was to stay balanced and calm," she says. That meant setting priorities. Twenty minutes of daily meditation plus a Sunday meditation group are now nonnegotiable necessities. If an interview or appearance can't accommodate those, she doesn't accept it.
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