There are athletes and there is Sebastian Copeland – polar explorer, filmmaker, environmental activist, photographer and Herbalife-sponsored extreme athlete. At an early age, tantalized by novels and accounts detailing the golden age of exploration, Copeland’s dream to explore the unknown was born. Add to that a natural athleticism, as well as a strong desire for personal engagement and the path for extreme adventures was laid out in front of him.
In 2006 and 2007, Copeland spent six weeks aboard a scientific research icebreaker in the Antarctic Peninsula gathering groundbreaking data on the region. In 2008, he and partner Luc Hardy led a team of nine children, from international backgrounds, for a month in the northernmost Canadian Arctic in order to expose them to this little known region and ignite their sense of wonder. In March 2009, he led a mission to the geographical North Pole, which resulted in his documentary Into the Cold: A Journey of the Soul, chronicling Admiral Peary reaching the North Pole in 1909. In May 2010, Copeland and partner Eric McNair-Landry left from southern Greenland to cross the 2,300 kilometers of its ice sheet using skis and kites. They reached the northern tip 41 days later and set a record for longest distance traveled (595 kilometers) on kites and skis over one 20-hour period. So where does one even begin when taking on challenges of such magnitude and sheer danger?
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“The beginning of a long expedition is pure hell,” says Copeland. “Every step you take is painful, so you must arm yourself with patience and the understanding that the whole nature of this exercise is really about putting one foot in front of the other.” Before heading out on the ice, Copeland prepares himself to contend with freezing winds and negative snow drifts that cause him to lose up to two-tenths of a mile for each mile he gains. Add to that the 200 to 400 pounds of gear that he must pull on the sled behind him. “It’s a brutal tax on the body that you need to preemptively train for,” he says. In such extreme conditions, personal safety is critical and something as seemingly minor as a pulled muscle can mean game over. As a result, Copeland goes to great lengths in his training to build up the ability to trek from eight to 13 hours per day. He prepares for the journeys on which he embarks with cardiovascular and core training, as well as hill-climbing with a 100-pound vest.
As for his diet, Herbalife24® products have played an important role in fueling his performance on his most challenging expeditions. “Herbalife has been a part of the most challenging expeditions that I’ve done,” he says. “The products have become a really critical and ongoing part my diet, especially when it comes to performance.” When he’s on the trail, he uses Herbalife24® Formula 1 Sport because “it fills me up, feeds my muscles, makes me feel good and tastes great.” He’s also big on Herbalife24® Prolong because it sustains his performance, while at the same time being easy to ingest. “Putting the right scientifically balanced nutrition in your body is critical for you to be performing at peak,” he says.
Ultimately, according to Copeland, pushing body and mind to the extreme comes down to one thing: committing to it. For those who want to achieve something rewarding, he recommends establishing a goal, understanding how to reach that goal by establishing a strategy and applying that strategy one step at a time in order to get there. “Do that and you can really impress yourself by how far you can actually go,” he says.
Sebastian Copeland Fast Facts
• Gala Award for Environmental Stewardship – 2010
• Founder’s Award from Global Green USA – 2009
• German GQ’s Man of the Year for Environmental Leadership – 2008
• Photographic prints on exhibit at the United Nations – 2007
• Board of Directors of Global Green – Current
Watch Copeland in Sebastian Copeland: One Step at a Time:
Learn more about Copeland at Herbalife24.com.