I struggled quite a lot when I got back from Antarctica. There were some difficult times on the ice too, it’s physically hard but I found it mentally much tougher. In my darkest moments on the ice, I would concentrate on the smallest things, putting one foot in front of the other. Watching my left ski move forward and then my right.
At times my mind felt like a prison, I struggled to get past frustrations. I thought it would get easier when I got off the ice but it didn’t. When I got back to Chile in the early hours of the morning, I received all the messages from the last two months. A lot of amazing positive messages but also from those that had made it harder for me. When the same people claimed to have helped me or wanted to take credit, I struggled with my frustration.
I remember not being able to sleep. It was my first time in a bed for two months, it was around 3am and I just couldn’t sleep. My mind felt so busy and I couldn’t get away from it.
When I got back to the UK, I spent a few hours at the airport conducting interviews and then interviews for 3 weeks before starting a school talking tour.
18,000 students, 8000 miles over four months. I love talking to students but I was also exhausted. I did have breaks in the school holidays, I used these breaks to train for phase two.
I would complete 3-5 talks a day all over the UK. I was fine during the talks but not so great afterward. I felt like something was wrong with me, like I was going to fall apart. I felt as though I was drowning. It took me until around May this year until I started feeling like myself again. Making any other plans seemed like it was too much. The school talks finished on a Wednesday and five days later, I moved to my new Army role and new location in Aylesbury.
Sometimes it is difficult to see that light when there is this huge cloud in your mind. But it is there. I found breaking things down into smaller chunks helped me. Focusing on just one thing at a time.
📸 training in Scotland in April during the Easter Holidays – taking it one step at a time.