I have to wonder though, how long does it take for the afterglow of such a massive accomplishment to wear off and to start asking yourself "what now?"
We would have better leadership if it wasn’t such an objectively terrible job.
I personally can't understand these ongoing Bernoulli experiments, surely something in these people's mind differs profoundly from mine.
"fMRI testing at the Medical University of South Carolina tilted the scales toward precisely that explanation — an underactive amygdala, not a negligent mother — by confirming that Honnold’s fear circuitry really does fire with less vigor than most."
I mean, what do you think you keep after you die anyway? Does it really matter in the end if you sat at a desk for 40 years and then died quietly in your bed as opposed to falling off a mountain at 40something?
That’s the decision that’s leading to declining birthrate in western nations, isn’t it? Why give up your freedom and increase your stress by creating obligation by having children?
Challeninging yourself, and doing something unique is interesting. I can hardly believe I'm wasting my time typing this out.
I'm proud when I set a new PR time running, but it's not exactly interesting.
Thinking a lot does that. It's not just searching for meaning of life and a higher purpose but also realizing how this is the only life you get to have and it is very short. I'd compare people who do this to suiciders,they've both contemplated their current lives intolerable and found a way out: One way is through it,the other is around and both routes are one-way.
My assumption is that people want and need some level of "excitement" to feel like living a meaningful life. Say, in scale 1-10, if you only get exposure to level 1 excitement, you kill yourself to avoid a boring life, occasional level 5 keeps your life interesting, 7-8 starts to be so uncomfortable that you rather avoid and 10 is so much that you rather kill yourself than expose yourself to this level of excitement.
Now, the problem is that same things give very different levels of excitement. There are people for whom game of Monopoly is level 5 excitement. And there are people for whom game of Monopoly is solid level 1 excitement.
With this model you see why some people decide to take risks some other find outright stupid or insane. So next time you think someone is doing something insanely risky, you might want to think how fulfilling your life would be if the things you do to get emotions would be stripped from you before calling the persons with pejorative adjectives...
no, I have no good definition for this word
To me, the whole point of doing something like this is that there is no point. It matters, at the moment, to the guy doing it and that is all that matters.
A couple of years back, I rode my motorcycle for 18 hours with only fuel breaks. 8 hours of the ride was in 40+ degree Celsius heat and the next 10 hours I had to endure the monsoons. I loved the whole experience. What did I gain from it? In the grand scheme of things, nothing. Will I do it again? Yes, already planning another trip.
Life seems pointless to me. I just try to have some fun along the way.
Extreme adversity can be a opportunity for tremendous amounts of learning and personal growth. Some people value that.
If crossing the Antarctic has meaning for you, by all means, go ahead! But just in case, be prepared ;)
Him and Colin set off on the same day, 1 mile apart on the ice.
For some of us, getting Tetris to work in Conway's Game of Life is insanity. For other people, walking across a continent is insanity.
The indirect benefits of such expeditions have not been measured. If someone did, I'm quite certain, a ton of benefits will crop up.
I'd liken this more to climbing Mt. Everest: challenging and personally rewarding, sure, but of ever-diminishing inspirational value to the rest of the world.
It can inspire people to train a bit or visit nature or something of the sort. If watching expedition makes you start startup, then it is odd as caring about business makes physical training harder.
I recently read an interview of a retired ex-paratrooper who lost his friend to Piteraq in Greenland (similar katabatic winds exist at Antarctica), the tent broke, exposing the people and they froze to death. With winds up to ca. 80 m/s and double-digit subzero temperatures, the wind chill effect is insane and a new shelter must be up within minutes.
It was a dangerous undertaking, no doubt. But then again so was Thor Heyerdahl with his raft, and Apollo 11 with the flight to the Moon, and so on.
Tip: if you want to concretely experience extreme cold, and the sheer brutalness of it, look up a cryotherapy room. -110 C or so for a few minutes while wearing swimming gear (and some cover for the extremities) felt like a hopeless, prolonged open ice swimming without the immediate endorphin rush (which eventually did come sometime later).
Not to say it's any easier, but ever since these stories started coming out I've been wondering who decides what it means to cross the continent. Would going from Dronning Maud Land to George V Land, a journey of double the distance but passing north of the South Pole, count?
In general though; "simply" going in a straight line between two points isn't often the easiest (nor most interesting) way to get between two points.
So it seems like a hypothetical: "If someone takes Ted's Shortcut in the future, will that still count as crossing Antarctica?"
Maybe it will count, maybe it won't. But I'm happy to let those future people decide.
One thing we do know... If they take the shortcut, they won't get a photo like this:
One person may define crossing Antarctica as a straight line, coast to coast, that intercepts the South Pole.
Another may say the South Pole isn't significant with regard to the continent of Antarctica. It's the South Pole of the Earth, but it's not that close to the geographical center of the continent. If you're really going to cross the continent, you ought to go through that geographical center.
Someone else may ask what is a coast? Do you include the great ice shelves? Do you have to start from the outermost edge of any ice shelf or can you start at the edge of the (smaller) landmass instead?
Another person, perhaps Colin, may say "Talk about this all you want, but here is where I am going. It's close to the route that previous Antarctic explorers have taken. I'm the one putting my life on the line, and I say I'm crossing Antarctica. But feel free to disagree with me."
Then I read that he was out for 53 days. And of course his conditions are far, far more grueling than I have ever faced (all in North America). So then I was shocked at how little he had with him!
7000 calories a day!
Eating sticks of butter is common too.
Looks like a >4:1 carb:fat ratio by weight.
(speaking from experience)
Fritos and Nutty Buddies were my go-to. I added a few notes about my trip here: https://pkshultz.com/at/
Since you're such a recent finisher; Springer Fever is a real thing, and I think it's best not to suppress it too much.
If you look through Colin's earlier instagram posts  you'll see that the terrain was not smooth for much of his journey. The terrain is covered in sastrugi  and this year was marked with unexpected higher temperatures and snowfall which made the skiing very slow for Colin and all the other explorers out there. Explorers Web has a good collection of blog posts about the various expeditions that are happening this season .
I once met a guy who told be about a historical book of, as far as I can remember, 2 or 3 explorers who were friends (?) and were racing to explore Antarctica. Does anyone happen to know the name of said book? It's been my white whale.
It's a fantastic read, written by Apsley Cherry-Garrard who was part of Scott's expedition. Such an amazing story, and to think they were doing this in a day where sat phones and GPS were not a thing (not even flashlights!)
It's definitely not a story about 3 friends racing to explore Antarcica - for one, while it takes a few small creative liberties, it's an historical narrative, and only one of the three are significantly included.
But it is a fantastic read, and even if it isn't the one you're looking for it is both well worth your and it is concerning the same topic.
"The race to the South Pole, 1911. In 1911, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott and Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen went head to head to be the first to reach the South Pole. In the early 20th century, the race was on to reach the South Pole, with a number of explorers setting out to claim it for their own."
It would surprise me if it wasn't a Norwegian that did it, we seem to have some sort of obsession with the South Pole. Cecilie Skog in the article you linked to is, no surprise, also Norwegian.
If you ever want to walk in the tracks of people like Roald Amundsen you should check out Expedition Amundsen, a 100km ski trip by sled over three days at Hardangervidda. Hardangervidda is absolutely stunning, but also known for taking a toll on even the most seasoned polar explorers.
I do wish users would submit more weird out-of-the way articles, though, and less major media. Especially ones that haven't appeared here before. Edit: like this one! https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18760852