Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Adventure At Any Cost

  I didn't know him, in fact I hadn't even heard of him until today but when I read his story he instantly had my respect. Henry Worsley, a British explorer had been attempting to be the first person to cross the Antarctic unaided. It was a daunting task that would take him 943 miles through an icy landscape and expose him to extreme cold temperatures. However, as fate would have it, after 71 days at the Earth's southern pole and 913 miles Mr. Worsley had to call for aid effectively ending his expedition just thirty miles from reaching his goal.
  So you ask why someone would take on such a difficult and punishing task. For many reasons. First Mr. Worsley was a former British Army Officer. He was using this expedition to earn money for the Endeavour Fund an organization devoted to helping injured servicemen and women rediscover adventure and even themselves after being injured. Henry Worsley reached his monetary goal bringing in over $142,000 (U.S.) A feat to be applauded on it's own. But that wasn't the only reason.
  He was also commemorating the 100th anniversary of Ernest Shackelton's ill fated attempt at crossing the Antarctic. Shackelton's ship the Endurance became frozen in an ice flow in January of 1915 and moved with the ice until she finally sank in November of 1915. Shackelton was a hero of Worsley and his story is an inspiring one to me. If you have a minute look up their story.
  Of course their is one more reason someone would try to do something so "crazy." It's simply the search for adventure. Being willing to take on the odds and the unknown, to do something no one has ever done before. It's testing yourself because you can and not to prove yourself to anyone. No, I may not have know Henry Worsley but I get where he was coming from.
  Henry Worsley called for assistance on Friday during a blizzard. His health was deteriorating when he was airlifted to a hospital. His last statement from Antarctica was: "The 71 days alone on the Antarctic with over 900 statute miles covered and a gradual grinding down of my physical endurance finally took its toll today, and it is with sadness that I report it is journey's end -- so close to my goal."
  Today it was announced that Mr. Worsley, 55 years old,  had passed away due to "complete organ failure." He leaves behind a wife and two children. His journey here on Earth may be done but I imagine his exploration of the great unknown has just begun. Our prayers are with his family.
  Hope to see you on Friday when we talk about something a little less sad.

Thank you,


 Henry Worsley

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