Joyce was born in 1984, during the Lebanese Civil War in Beirut. While growing up, Joyce didn’t get to spend time outdoors in nature or in the mountains, her childhood was traumatic, living in a war zone and having to flee her family home to escape the bombings.
Her love of sports and the outdoors came later on when she was a teenager. A friend invited her to go hiking and that experience of going outside and climbing mountains changed her. Through the challenges of the mountains, she has found her strength, they have made her stronger, they have become her mentors.
She has gone on to climb mountains all over the world and has become the first Lebanese women to climb the 7 highest summits on the 7 continents. During this podcast, Joyce, will share more of her journey, the passion, the challenges, the set backs she has had to overcome and what she has learned on the journey. She also shares more about her motivations and why she continues to dream big.
“Mountains are my mentors, they have changed me, and they have made me stronger.”
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Living in Beirut
Growing up during the War
Coming from a modest family
Getting a good education and deciding to study Architecture
Winning a scholarship to do her Masters in Italy
Getting her PhD
Her love of the mountains
Learning new skills and getting to love nature
Starting her 7 summit journey with Mt. Elbrus
Having to pause her 7 summits challenge while she pursued her PhD
Deciding to complete the remaining 4 summits
Not being able to summit Aconcagua in Argentina and deciding to abort the summit attempt
Making hard decisions in the mountains
Climbing Kilimanjaro next
Going back to Aconcagua in 2017 and summiting
Spending over a year getting the fundraising to complete the next mountains
Struggling with moments of doubt
Her angels and support system
How she is seen in Lebanon, and what her family and friends think about her ambitions to climb mountains
Breaking stereotypes and encouraging more women to climb
Raha Moharrak and being the youngest Arab women to climb the 7 summits
What she has learnt from climbing the mountains and why the mountains are her mentors
What climbing in Lebanon is like and how it prepared her for climbing mountains
Learning to trust her gut and going after her dreams
Getting the sponsorship and making it happen
#YESYOUCAN where is started from and how it evolved over time
Sharing and promoting children’s dreams and why it was so important for her
Why the 7 summits isn’t the end!
Being ambitious and having big goals
Going after the LONG DISTANCE Explorers Grand Slam!
Recovering from Everest and training for her next challenge
Working full time while doing challenges
Dealing with the cold!
Using the Wim Hoff training method
Her mantra….Her motto
Choosing what makes her happy and why it is your responsibility for your happiness
Advice for other women
Why the WHY is so important
Being a one woman show and doing it all herself
Website - www.joyceazzam.com
Instagram - @joyceazzam7s
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