As we bid farewell to 2017, many people reflect on the past year and plan for change in the new year. For me, 2018 is going to be one of the most memorable years of my life (with the obvious exception of the year I married my wife and the years in which each of my daughters were born). Why? Because I’m starting the New Year in a place I never dreamed of visiting – the South Pole. On Dec. 30, I’ll be leaving to join the South Pole Energy Challenge (SPEC) to walk the final 60-plus miles to the pole.
Forget resolutions. I’m preoccupied with preparations. There are so many details to consider: am I packing enough? Am I packing too much? Do I have enough socks? How will I adjust to the cold and the altitude? Did I train enough? Does my wife think I’m insane? So many questions, so few answers.
My travel plans are set, and if things go as planned, I will start 2018 in Union Glacier and arrive at the 89th Parallel by Jan. 4 or 5. Then it’s the 60-mile trek to the South Pole.
How does all of this make me feel? Pick an adjective: excited, nervous, apprehensive, overwhelmed, thrilled, edgy – stunned. What adventures await me. I am in awe of the opportunity I have been given, and am thankful to Robert Swan and his team for allowing me to join the expedition. And I am grateful to Commvault, the data partner of SPEC and 2041 – and a darn good employer to boot – for agreeing to let me carry its flag (literally) to the South Pole.
Now that I think about it, I suppose I do have a resolution or two for the New Year. I plan to reach the South Pole safely, raise awareness of the renewable energy challenge, and prove to my wife that, yes, I am a bit crazy to attempt this challenge.