I don’t know what came over me while watching his inspiring conference, the explorer and his daughters Jessica and Annika invited us to live in the heart of Lausanne, in the Metropole. Maybe, because there was so much BEING of him, so much humbleness, so much love and appreciation and gratitude for life. So much freedom. Maybe, because for the first time in my life, I was witnessing the energy of a man who has overcome with his free will the greatest extremes of life, that he has survived them all, and that his mission is now simply to inspire and to trigger the very own parts in all of us that want to show, be seen, discovered?
Maybe as well, because we felt a star watching over them. Anyway, much gratitude goes their direction, and a deep understanding as well, why Mike and his daughters don’t want the Conferences to be filmed and spread on the web. We feel really privileged to have been part of it.
It was said that the each time 1200 places for his 6 conferences were sold out within minutes. The line outside of the Metropole was endless. And there was a certain excitement as well. At 4pm in the afternoon during the week, people freed themselves to come watch this man in live who has crossed within 2 months 5100 km of Ice of Antarctica, all by himself. With kites, skis and a 250 kg heavy bob with a tent, food, and all what it needs for someone like Mike to survive for 2 months.
We are welcomed by the girls, the managers of Mike, just about to create Horn Media, Incredible souls, gone through so much already, so open to life, love, adventure. The best imaginable path mates for their dad. And the other way round. What a team! Heart warming. And knowing her mom and his wife as a star watching over them, accompanying them, makes their team definitely even stronger.
And here he is, 1 person out of more than 7 billions, who one day had this crazy idea on top of all the craziness that he has already experienced, to cross this land of ice and cold, with temperatures of minus 40°, going down to minus 70°.
At first, during the Conference, he told us many life-lessons. Achieved wisdom, experienced while he was still a very young boy thanks to his parents, who had always given him roots and wings. Who taught him to stand to his word, as for him, a man with no word is a man with no value.
His dad let him do all he always wanted to do, and every evening, they openly spoke about it, but there was one golden rule, the most important for him: ‘Son, be always home at 6.’ What he did, until the day where he tried to be smarter, and told his dad that he wanted to go see his cousins. (10 km from home by bike.) But once he was there, he circled around the house, and then biked off to go see the other cousins 300 km from there. So he only told his dad half the truth, what was not really a lie?
When his dad found out at 6pm, that Mike wasn’t home, he straight away knew, called his one brother, just to hear that Mike hadn’t shown up in his house, took his car and drove in the direction of his other brother with Mikes cousins 300 km from his place. On the way, he caught his son on the street. Without a word, he opened the car boot, took Mikes bike, gave him a sign to sit in the back of the car, and in total silence, they drove back home. At home, he took the bike, took a rope, and pulled it up under the roof.
Bye bye freedom. Later on that evening, Mike went to his dad and said asked, ‘dad, why don’t you say anything, why don’t you give me a smash? Why don’t you shout at me? Why are you so silent, you’ve never been silent, we could always talk about everything.’ And his dad: ‘Mike, it is not up to me to start the discussion. I haven’t done anything bad or wrong. It is up to you to come to me.” In this way, Mike learned about trust, consequences, about self-responsibility, reflection and about keeping words.
Today, the things Mike does, he makes them because they make him happy. But he launched a call to the public if someone could explain to him why he does what he does, and that he would be very happy to learn more about it.
On expeditions, Mike follows the rule of surviving: “we can only win if our inner pull to win is stronger as the fear to lose.” He would have lost his life 1000 times already I guess, if this wisdom and his shining star wasn’t firmly anchored in him. For example, when his kite took off with the bob, and him to run behind them until jumping on the super rapid bob, taking out his swiss knife and cutting the kite-ropes, leaving the bob behind him, walking for 4 hours solo in the direction where the kite disappeared, finding it miraculously in the middle of the big white, and walking back with it 4 hours, without finding the bob… zigzagging, until he found it!
With a screwdriver opening his big toe so that the blood would flow again in the half frozen foot.
Sleeping outside with no tent, breaking a shoulder, continuing. Loosing his cooking utensils.
We can imagine how it must have felt for Mike when he arrived alive on the other side of the Antarctica, 17th February 2017, stating into his camera. ‘The 17th February, I just finished the crossing of Antarctica, it’s all done.’ And to finish the Conference: ‘In the beginning, you think you have the knowing of how to do it, but it’s only in the end that you know that you wouldn’t do it any more, because you have lived the experience.’
Thank you for the magic, Mike, Annika, Jessica & your shining star Cathy.