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Fiona Thornewill - Motivational Speaker
Inspirational Speakers, Motivational Women Speakers, Adventurers and Explorers, After Dinner Speakers
Fiona Thornewill constantly demonstrates the power of positive thought. She was a media sensation around the world in January 2004 when she became the fastest solo polar walker in the world. The lady dubbed by the press as ‘Ice Queen’ bravely trekked across 700 miles of dangerous Antarctic wasteland in sub zero temperatures pulling a 285 lb (130 kilo) sledge to the South Pole in a record 42 days.
To make matters worse, she lost satellite communication days after setting out and braved perils including a nightmarish crevasse field, totally alone. The only comfort she had in minus 50c temperatures and ferocious winds were letters from friends, motivational messages inside home-made sticky toffee puddings and the companionship of three teddy bears – who have each been awarded a Blue Peter badge!
Sporting and personal achievements prior to that are equally outstanding. No wonder The Queen invited Fiona to attend the exclusive “girl power” lunch at Buckingham Palace in the Spring of 2004 to celebrate the success of UK’s top 200 female achievers from the arts, media, law and business.
By meeting personal challenges, Fiona inspires others to take bold steps themselves and reach tough personal goals. The latest journey was in memory of her late husband, Bill, who died in a motorcycle crash.
• Her personal story of bereavement is about making a positive out of a negative life changing experience.
• Her personal story is about overcoming self -doubt and limitations set by others.
• Her personal story is about setting goals and keeping to them no matter how daunting the prospect.
• Her personal story is about dedication and team spirit
The death of her husband was devastating, yet she carried on running a busy gymnastics business. She said: “Back then, I had a choice to be negative or do something positive. Bill was cheated of his life and so I felt I owed it to him to make the most of mine. Ever since then I’ve always taken avenues that lead forward and not backward.”
She met polar explorer Mike Thornewill in 1992 and after marrying, the couple have enjoyed many expeditions to hot and cold climates together. Fiona’s solo challenges include endurance cycling at championship level, a solo trip to the Middle East and climbing the highest mountain in South East Asia. As a couple Mike and Fiona have explored both the North and South Pole – the first married couple to do so.
Fiona chose to walk across Antarctica alone because previous challenges during her second marriage have mainly been Mike’s ambitions and not her own. When it was first suggested to her she thought it was a “dream too far” but the dream became reality when she left Herclules Inlet, Antarctica alone in November 2003 and subsequently ski walked for two hard months pulling a sledge faster than any other human being.
She could have flown back to glory on her own but chose to wait at the South Pole for nineteen days for her husband and fellow team-mates from the ‘Solo-Together’ expedition who originally planned to be the welcome party until the tables were turned. Team spirit is an important element of her story, so is friendship. She now has a firm friendship with her polar rival, Rosie Stancer. A friendship borne out of sharing adversity.
Expeditions require meticulous planning and logistics –lives depend on it. The journey was a culmination of a year’s hard training which involved regularly sitting in a freezer to acclimatise her body, dragging heavy loads for long distances and cycling 27 miles to work in Nottingham where she is a recruitment consultant. Typical diet on her polar journey were dyhydrated foods soaked in olive oil and numerous bars of chocolate.
She pays tribute to the meticulous planning by Mike Thornewill who even devised her high fat content expedition survival diet!
Her stories will be popular for those looking for aspirational as well as inspirational messages about the
• Will to Win
• Life Changing Experiences
• Conquering Fears
• Personal Goal Setting
• Team Spirit
- After Dinner
Find out more about Fiona Thornewill
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