I wish I had more time to write down all that is swirling about my mind as we prepare to leave tomorrow. The last minute hassles, the car repair last week, the broken down dishwasher that is still not fixed, these things can’t quell the growing excitement for what we’ve been planning for the past 3 years, our own great adventure to the South Pole.
As our “to do” list dwindles, stress begins to drain from my body and I am filled with pure excitement, joy and love, a cocktail of intoxicating emotions. I feel so alive with anticipation for what’s to come in the next two months. At the same time, I’m humbled and overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from our family and friends.
I realize that going on a completely self-supported expedition is only possible because we are totally dependent on our support system back home to care for our 12-year old son Keenan. It does take a village – only our special village just happens to be helping us realize our South Pole dream.
It’s a lot to take in on the eve of our departure. I still need to pack my last bag, study the manual for my new camera, download more audiobooks, and savor a few more delicious hours with Keenan.
When I was running with my friend Leni earlier this week, we chatted about the fact that this expedition will be an adventure of the mind and spirit, as much as a physical experience. Marty and I have put in countless hours of training – running mountain trails, strength training in our garage, and dragging heavy tires. As for our minds and spirits, I think they’re ready to expand to fill the white, wide-open spaces of Antarctica. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds!
My husband and I saw you running in the Riverpoint neighborhood yesterday, but didn’t recognize you till we’d driven passed. We regret not having turned around to wish you God speed and an inspiring journey.
Met you on the Snoq. Trail some weeks ago when you were tire pulling.
We will be following you on your expedition.
Here’s to quest AND FULFILLMENT !!!
Thanks Nancy! I think we saw you wave as you were just passing. Thanks for following along, we can’t wait!
Oh my goodness. Departure count down is on. I’m so excited to share your stories and your progress. This adventure truly is holistic…body, mind, spirit and emotions will all be tested.
Sending you off with so much love and admiration. And look forward to your safe return.
Thanks Jacqueline! And thanks for all of your support over the last year, just awesome!
How very exciting for you!! I will keep you both in prayer, as well as Keenan. Godspeed, and may your adventure be trouble-free and amazing.
Thanks Miriam, we appreciate your support and prayers.
Safe travels from the Ayling family! We look forward to your posts and progress. You are an inspiration that have touched so much of our lives. Your dedication and determination is amazing and even though this trip will be far more of a challenge than most of us will ever experience, you take it on because you are destined for this greatness. Stay safe and enjoy this journey.
Thanks Karin – we appreciate your thoughts and support. Wave at our house when you drive by each day, and enjoy those Christmas lights that we put up early so we could enjoy a little holiday spirit with Keenan before we departed!
Have an awesome experience. Looking forward to following you from Chicago!
Thanks Liz, awesome to have you following along!
I am having my own “cocktail of emotions” around your departure Chris! I am on the edge of my seat for the next words about your adventure.
Amazing how this adventure stirs so many emotions in us and those following. While people don’t want to say it, we know our family and friends are worried about us and what we are about to undertake. It’s amazing how the outpouring of love outshines the worry. We feel blessed to be in the loving arms of you all.
Chris, I’m fascinated by this venture. Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton is a hero of mine, now you’re a real live hero. I’ll be following your progress and wish you well.
Thanks Bill. We love Shackleton too, what a leader and inspiration.
What books will you been listening to? I’d love to listen to the same ones to track at least some of your thoughts while pulling that sled.