Setting world records or achieving something extraordinary is a way for many people to challenge themselves and show just how far they can go to achieve something.
In many cases, individuals take on physical challenges primarily for their overall well-being. Conquering the Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world, is a sort of challenge that few dare to take on. It needs both mental strength and physical fitness.
Ann Jangsell, president of the Swedish Association of Qatar, an expatriate community group, has conquered the tallest mountain while being at her home in Qatar. What started as just normal exercise to stave off the trauma of job loss and social isolation during the coronavirus pandemic has culminated into a record-setting achievement for Ann.
The Swede started climbing up and down 10 stair-steps flight as a regular exercise. It led her to the idea of ‘Mount Everest Challenge’ that she has accomplished in the month of June. She climbed up and down 200 flights (each flight is equal to 10 stair-steps) every day to complete 6,000 steps in 30 days equalling the height of the Mount Everest.
Talking to Community about her accomplishment, Ann said: “I haven’t heard anyone else in Qatar doing this challenge before, but a lot of people have contacted me for more information and how it works, from all over the world, not just in Qatar, thanks to my Instagram account and friends all over the globe.
“The background of the challenge is an idea – ‘Fight For Every Heartbeat Stair Climb Challenge’ – that came up from the British Heart Foundation in 2017. It was meant to be a challenge for the staff in the various workplaces in the UK. A survey report showed that nearly two out of five adults in the UK did not achieve the recommended levels of physical activity to benefit their health. The challenge would help staff increase their activity levels, improving their mental and physical well-being by climbing the stairs, increasing staff’s morale, and team building. They could choose buildings like Big Ben in London, Sydney Opera House in Australia, Petronas Twin Tower in Malaysia etc. to conquer Mount Blanc in France, Mount Everest in Nepal, or Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.”
Sharing how she prepared herself for the challenge and how she feels after completing it, Ann said: “I did not do much of preparations for the challenge. I just started climbing, at the beginning of the month my legs and knees was very soar but it went well after a couple of days.
“I really like the idea of doing exercise that I can visualise as some kind of goal, more than coming into shape and losing kilos. So, it was truly optimal for me, who is so goal-orientated as a person. How amazing it is to have climbed Mount Everest in your own stairway? I feel very happy and proud of myself. I mean 200 flight up and 200 flights down, every day for 30 days, in total 6,000 flights up and 6,000 down. I feel like a true star to accomplish the challenge. It is like I have won a gold medal in the Olympics.”
When asked what is next for her and will she continue challenging herself, the Swedish expatriate said: “The next challenge is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. The challenge got started from 1st of July. It is going to be a 20 days challenge. The elevation of the mountain is 5,895 metres. Why I want to do it is to keep challenging myself and push further forward and upwards, coming into better shape and to feel proud of myself.”
In response to a question about what she has actually achieved from the challenge and what positive she has got from it, Ann said: “I have been taught that I am stronger and tougher than I thought and that all and everything is possible if you really want it. My piece of advice to others is to invest in yourself, treat your body and heart well, do exercise for your body’s sake, so it can serve you for a long time. Be happy and kind and always try to be the best version of yourself.”
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