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Tent time in Antarctica

This is a continuation of a series of blogs about our recent expedition to Antarctica.   We were recently interviewed by Go Outside Brazil to be part of an article about couples who do adventures together.  We’re not sure how much of the information that we sent them will make it to the article, so we thought we’d share it here in a series of blog posts.

How did the expedition affect your marriage?

Every adventure that we take as a couple, or as a family including my son, brings us closer to each other.  Going on our South Pole expedition stretched the boundaries of marriage, parenthood, work and life.  When we came out the other end of this intense experience, we learned to communicate a little better, we gained more patience under stressful situations, we further cemented our bond to each other.  It gave us additional strength and endurance that we can bring to everyday life. Our expedition reinforced our belief that to grow, we need to push beyond our comfort zones and imagine possibilities that seem beyond our reach. Like past adventures, Marty and I grew closer through our Antarctica experience, one that provided lessons and fond memories for life.

Our marriage was also enhanced by the tremendous outpouring of love and support from our family and friends.  Going on a completely self-supported expedition was only possible because we were totally dependent on our support system back home to care for our son Keenan.  It does take a village – only our special village just happened to help us realize our South Pole dream.

What is the best expedition that you have ever taken?  The worst?

The South Pole expedition that I’ve described earlier is our best experience.  It challenged us on every level and expanded the boundaries of who we are.  I can’t think of a worst expedition as each experience has it’s own challenges that help us to learn and grow.

Before we met, Marty had an unfortunate expedition experience. While he was attempting to climb Mount McKinley with another teammate, at 16,500 a puff of wind blew into his tent, just as he was about to anchor it, instantly sending the tent over the ledge and tumbling 4000 feet down the glacier, ending his expedition.

How do you balance normal life with adventure life?

While some choose a life of adventure and leave their “normal” life behind, devoting all of their time to taking adventures, we try to maintain a healthy balance between going on extreme adventures and providing a stable environment to raise our son.  We embrace the parts of normalcy that we think are important – being part of our community where we live, participating in our son’s school, coaching his cross country team, saving money for college and travel.  We try to weave adventure into our everyday life while taking big adventures every few years.