This article was published in the magazine #36 September-October 2021
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People often ask me what was the most difficult: running a marathon at the North Pole at -30°C, becoming French athletics champion and running 240.6 kilometers in 24 hours non-stop during the last Worlds, achieving a expedition to Antarctica on foot over 2,045 kilometers in 74 days in -50°C, or run seven marathons in seven consecutive days on each of the continents.
And why, after years of studying philosophy, economics, law, and so many years spent exercising my profession with passion and commitment, while I was comfortably installed in an office, the student loans repaid, I decided to make a living from polar exploration, adventure and sport.
To read Sport and spirituality: testimony of Stéphanie Gicquel, explorer of the extreme
Difficulty is a relative concept. The greatest risk is often not to follow your course, to bear the heavy regret of giving up becoming yourself. We all have one life, and we cannot change it, but it is long enough for several life moments to follow one after the other, one behind the other. No, you don’t necessarily have to reconcile everything. Nor capitalize everything. On the contrary, it is sometimes vital to embark on a new adventure, to taste the diversity of the world, to connect with oneself and to others, to reveal oneself in this succession of moments of life, of experiences. The difficulties encountered then always end up fading in the face of self-fulfilment.
It is not a question of erasing what we have become, but of continuing to shape it. Like a sculptor returns to his work to dig one by one the furrows that give life to the body of stone.
To read Pole dance: benefits of a sport that connects body and mind
Our ability to change and adapt is a great asset. A wealth that everyone carries within themselves and which is therefore within the reach of all those who will not persist in seeking it elsewhere, entertained and bewildered in the sole immediate profit of a society of consumption, possession, capitalization, where the sense of effort falls asleep in a perpetual comfort, where science lengthens the average lifespan, but where the hope of living is consumed far too soon.
Everyone could see it. A change, a new experience, is a way to learn about yourself and the world around you. Especially for those who fall, get up and persevere. Those who lengthen the distance. We’ve all been there at least once. We have all experienced this exponential growth curve. Childhood.
Youth has no age. If no one escapes the arrow of time, it is possible to stay in motion to get away from it and live a little more.
It all starts with a movement. Time, then, does its work. As long as you put your heart into the work. Again and again.
Stéphanie Gicquel is the author of In movement, published by Ramsay. She is also a top athlete, member of the French athletics team, explorer, entrepreneur.
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The importance of being on the move, by Stéphanie Gicquel
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