It’s been a few weeks now since I began a series entitled “Pioneer Women” with my original intent to highlight a series of women who have “blazed a trail” for those of us who have chosen to become pioneer women in our right!
It’s become quite a process as I’ve been researching these amazing women and I’ve learned much about “common threads” that connect them…and us. Women who have chosen to launch out into deep waters, so to speak, or have climbed to great heights, in their particular field of endeavor are incredible role models for us all.
Today’s Pioneer Woman is no exception! Perhaps you’ve already heard of this remarkable woman…Melissa Arnott…but IF not, it’s my privilege to introduce you to her.
At just 30 years old, Melissa is touted by colleagues and others as one of the greatest women mountain climbers of all time. She lives in Sun Valley, Idaho and has spent the last seven years of her life preparing for her newest challenge—to break a new world record by being the first U.S. woman to climb the summit without supplemental oxygen—a feat that is extremely dangerous.
Already a five-time Mt. Everest summiter, Melissa knows the risks associated with her goal but she is determined and committed to seeing it through. She recently shared in an interview, actually part of a video series by Glamour magazine who is following her journey, that she’s kept her previous goals more private but knew that this current scenario would require all the support she could get from others.
And yes, there have been and continue to be many sacrifices made in pursuit of her mission. “A lot of what I’ve been doing is training of being uncomfortable, and pushing myself to maybe not eat for a really long time while I’m training, and if I can make my body suffer and then overcome that suffering,” she told TODAY’s Matt Lauer in a phone call this past Tuesday from Everest base camp. How about you? I would venture to say that most everyone who’s pursued excellence in life have made significant sacrifices…and it’s been worth it.
One of the main things that I could personally relate to was the fact that she had to develop as much mental fitness as the physical. Even though you and I will probably never climb a physical mountain, most all of us have other “mountains” in our lives…some that seem insurmountable, in fact!
The key is to keep climbing…not giving in…or giving up. Taking one step at time, one foot in front of the other…slow but sure. Taking “every thought captive” and not allowing any negativity to cross our mind. And realizing just how much we need others in our lives to help keep us on the right path too!
Melissa went on to say, “It’s usually about understanding myself and understanding the mountain. I’ve worked here for the last eight seasons, and I’ve been lucky enough to summit five times and get to know myself at that altitude and try to understand what the challenges are when I take away the help the supplemental oxygen offers.”
Arnot’s last attempt to reach the summit was interrupted when a massive avalanche last year claimed the lives of 16 sherpas, the local workers who do much of the heavy lifting on the guided climbs. One of the sherpas had become a close friend. She says that it was the worst day of her life having to tell the young man’s wife and two sons that he was gone. She wants this year’s effort to raise money to support local families and inspire others to reach new heights of their own.
So the journey continues for this pioneer woman. You can follow her quest as she is currently in the final stages…just a few weeks away from starting the final summit push near the end of May. Let’s cheer her on…all the way to the top and back home, safe again!
See you at the top,
Jana B. Denninger,
Neighborhood Development Partner
Neighborhood Boutiques – OPEN for YOUR Business
COFFEE in the NEIGHBORHOOD
Well Women LLC
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://affiliatedwomeninternational.com//wp-content/uploads/2014/04/jana-photo.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]I am a woman on a mission to be a world changer – one relationship at a time. I want to encourage, empower and equip others to live a life of balance and excellence whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, environmental or relational. Connect with me so together we can map a plan that works for you![/author_info] [/author]