In this Test Talk, Ben Saunders, an expert cross country skier, tells the story of how he skied from Russia to the North Pole. In 2004 Saunders attempted an expedition to the pole with a partner. Nearly everything that could have gone wrong did. On day two they were attacked by a polar bear, Ben suffered from frost bite and they hadn’t brought enough food for the whole trip. Eventually, after skiing four hundred miles, with two hundred left to go, they were forced to end their expedition because they had run out of time. It was becoming too late in the year to continue because the ice was beginning to melt and break apart. They were picked up by Russian helicopter pilots and went home.
Six years later, after experiencing the pain of failure for far too long, Ben decided to attempt this expedition again but with an added challenge that has not yet been done. His goal was to ski from Russia, to the North Pole, then continue on to Canada. He left with renewed confidence and succeeded in reaching the North Pole. He could not, however, reach his full goal of getting to Canada because he was too low on supplies.
After I watched this Ted Talk I saw how great the rewards of perseverance and hard work can be. If one man can travel to the top of the world alone without injuring himself or encountering any danger what could stop him? It is truly inspirational to see this man work past the feeling of failure that haunted him for years and succeed in reaching his goal. This is a very inspiring story and I feel compelled to try something of this magnitude sometime in the future.