We know that some people find the idea of an IGO intimidating – they think they’re not fit enough, or too old, or have never done one of the disciplines. So we thought we’d catch up with some of our past participants to get their take on the IGO experience

First up is Shaakira, from Ohio, USA, who took part in Norway to raise funds for our charity partner, Sentebale.

Age: 34

Profession:  Registered Nurse

 What made you want to do an IGO in the first place? Apart from Sentebale’s encouragement and supporting their cause, I have always wanted to go on some sort of wilderness expedition far away in a Scandinavian country.  When the opportunity included a week long intense quadrathalon/expedition that I had never done, or imagined ever doing, I said “why not.” I live life with curiosity and always challenge myself because without challenges, there is no growth.  At the time of my decision to do this IGO event, I was working in a challenging hospital in a new state. I needed a piece of adventure to balance the stress I was going through. I also knew that if I thought too hard about my decision, I probably would have talked myself out of it! Jumping into IGO was the best option.

Had you done an endurance event before?  I had never done an endurance event before, or even dreamed of doing one.

How long did it take you to train for it? I feel silly for saying this, but I only had 3 weeks to train for this IGO event and not in a climate or terrain that’s close to Norway’s, yikes! But I did have a base level of fitness, which was definitely useful.

What was the hardest discipline for you? The ski touring – I got all the way up the top of the second ascent and then the weather closed in and it was like we were in the movie Everest! So much snow and strong winds – it was a real challenge.

What was the best thing about N60º? For me, the best thing about N60º was meeting the most kind-hearted people with strength and courage from different backgrounds coming together and encouraging one another to the very end of the challenging event. Also being able to do this event with legendary explorers was so cool! I felt safe and in good hands.

 …. And the worst? The dehydrated food! And being in survival mode for 4 days (OMG!).

 Do you think it has changed you/ your outlook on life and adventure? Totally! IGO has definitely propelled me to do many more challenges and go on other amazing adventures that I never imagined doing.  Also, it taught me the immense strength that the mind and body has, and that to defeat any challenge in your life, good or bad, you have to believe in its capabilities and everything will be alright.

Shaakira has just hiked the Salkantay Trek in Peru, also in aid of Sentebale – proof that adventure doesn’t stop when you go home!

For more information on preparing for an IGO – drop us an email at info@igoadventures.com