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Home >Meet Ann Bancroft

Ann Bancroft, Polar Explorer

She's been named woman of the year by Ms. Magazine and featured in the book Remarkable Women of the 20th Century. When she first burst onto the national scene with her 1986 trip to the North Pole, the self-described introvert struggled with the attention. "I was uncomfortable with the word role model, let alone hero," she says. "People would literally come up to me and say `You are doing this for women.'"

Bancroft has weathered the frenzy by simply being herself. "I got home and relaxed for a while and realized that the only thing I can do is be me," she says.

To often, we try to be things we are not. We are mothers masquerading as CEOs or writers stuck in accountants' bodies. Bancroft has found nirvana by combining her love of teaching with her love of exploring. And while not everyone has done something as outlandish as trek across the bottom of the world, success will follow if you recognize your strengths, then create a life that plays to them.

When Ann sets out on the ice on Nov. 1, she faces a challenge few of us can even conceptualize: 2,400 hundred miles of slogging across a continent that might as well be Mars. She intends to educate thousands of children on her journey. Planning is crucial. Training is essential.

But if anyone can make it a reality, it is a teacher who just happens to be an explorer.

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Days on the ice: 91
Position: 84.23S, 177.16W
Altitude: 184.0 ft
Temp: 14.0°F | -10.0°C
Distance: 1708.95 miles