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East Midlands

Be bold, to the Pole and back

23 Oct 2019

Events Report 2019 

As the end of the year approaches, we look back on some of the IoD East Midlands Events

Explorer Fiona Thornewill tells delegates ‘You can achieve anything if you really want it’

IoD members and guests at the latest Regional Networking Lunch were treated to a truly inspirational talk by Polar explorer Fiona Thornewill. Held in the stunning surroundings of the Broadway Cinema, attendees were treated to a lunch buffet and drinks in the Mezzanine Bar before hearing from Fiona – the only British woman to venture to the South Pole solo and unsupported. 

Having been told while growing up that she was ‘average’ and that perhaps she would make ‘a good receptionist one day’, it didn’t seem like Fiona was destined for much. However, she always felt there was something far greater than that inside her, and with a little encouragement she found her niche, her skill, that thing that makes her motivated, inspired and resilient. When Fiona’s husband mentioned that no British woman had ventured to the South Pole solo and unsupported, she thought, ‘well, maybe, I could do that.’ It took grueling training that involved dragging tyres and running to and from work – that’s over 20 miles a day – in preparation for her trek to the Pole, which involved dragging a 300-pound sled all on her own. 

She credits her success to the amount of research and preparation that went into her journey. Before her trip she says her one failing was in navigation, however, after many practice sessions and a few breakdowns in the rain, she overcame her weakness. IoD members were astonished to hear that when arriving at the South Pole, she had not only surpassed her own goal but had set a record time of 41 days and nine hours. Her message to anyone wanting to achieve a goal is “to be bold”. Focus on the positive of what you are doing and don’t let all the negatives and potential setbacks from putting your full effort forward. 

“Boldness has genius, power and magic in it,” said Fiona. Be bold and you can do anything.  


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East Midlands

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IoD East Midlands
Nottingham Trent University,
Burton Street,
Nottingham,
NG1 4BU