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Tori Murden McClure - 1st woman and 1st American to ski to the geographic South Pole (1989)

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Tori is perhaps best-known as the first woman and first American to row a boat solo across the Atlantic Ocean, having accomplished the feat in 1999 after 81 days at sea.

A decade earlier, she became the first woman and first American to ski to the geographic South Pole during a 50-day, 750-mile expedition.

Tori is author of the memoir, A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean, which details her life and journey across the Atlantic.

The book is the basis of a stage musical, called, Row, which made its world premiere at the prestigious Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts in the summer of 2021.

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Show notes

  • Who is Tori

  • Growing up all over the east coast of the United States

  • Spending a lot of time outside as a kid

  • Having an intellectually disabled brother

  • Bullying that she and her brother experienced in the past

  • Going to Smith Collage and playing basketball

  • Meeting Rita Benson who had been at Smith since World War II

  • Learning to row and to ski

  • Skiing to the South Pole a few years later

  • Getting a degree in psychology

  • Working in the National Outdoor Leadership School in Alaska

  • More details about her skiing journey

  • Falling in love with travelling in a very remote country

  • Applying for the expedition team to the South Pole at the age of 24

  • The 750-mile journey across Antarctica

  • Psychological challenges she experienced

  • Being the first woman and the first American to reach the Geographic South Pole

  • Having a cassette recorder and cassette tapes Solitude as the biggest challenge for them

  • Talking more about Harvard Divinity School

  • Wholeness in seeing nature

  • Changes to her after the challenges and adventures

  • Finishing Divinity School and returning to Louisville, Kentucky,

  • Working with homeless people in Boston

  • Going to law school

  • Working for the mayor of Louisville

  • Training rowing for the Olympic team

  • Being too slow to make the Olympic team

  • Signing up to do the Atlantic rowing race

  • Being asked by a sponsor if she would consider rowing solo across the Atlantic Ocean

  • Getting into more detail about the sponsorship in 1998

  • Being hit by the hurricane Danielle

  • Hurricanes Dania and Earl

  • Having an overwhelming sense of failure

  • Spending almost a year working for Muhammad Ali Creating the Muhammad Ali Center

  • Being lifted up by Muhammad when she was broken

  • The difference between having a growth mindset and a fixed mindset

  • “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt

  • Her fears on her second journey

  • Hurricane Lenny - first hurricane in recorded history to travel 1000 miles west-east

  • Getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere for weeks

  • Meeting and falling in love with her husband, Mac McClure

  • Adventures in her life at the moment

  • Final words of advice


Social Media

Instagram: @torimurden

Twitter: @toriposu


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