• Siv Harstad

Did you give up on your goal when the pandemic hit?

I for sure did not, I’ve kept my eyes on the target. And still have. You know “this too shall pass”, before you know it we’ll be sitting here looking back and talking about what happened. Even though it is an unprecedented time I have experienced something similar before.

In 2015 our big goal was to climb Mt. Everest, we’ve planned and worked for it for several years. Just a few weeks into our expedition we experienced .. earthquake in Nepal. At the time we were immensely grateful to come out from that experience alive. Not been hit by the rock-fall that was triggered by the earthquake and came after us - missing us by seconds. A situation where your instincts take over, run on adrenaline, and handle the situation before your brain have time to follow suit. It was surreal and it took many hours before we understood the severity of what we just had experienced. It was basically a runf or your life situation. 2 days later we decided to cancel the expedition, and at the time of decision I decided to come back and pursue my goal the following year.

I had many plans for 2020, goals I wanted to achieve and trips planned with other people to help them reach their goals. I was excited and had just rolled up my sleeves getting ready for hitting a new target, that I just had decided to go ahead and do 1 year earlier than my first plan.

I also had planned to become good at ski-kiting during the winter. I had just sold some old gold that I no longer used - so I could afford to purchase my own kite.

I was ready to take a course with my friend as soon as we could coordinate weekends. It all looked good. Before we managed to, it all stopped up. The global pandemic hit!

When the pandemic hit most us in mid-March most of took a few days to take it all in - Or maybe we are still are trying to grasp it.

We were in a situation where we did not know how long it was going to last, how we were going to be affected or what was happening…

I’m used to calculate risk on my expeditions and wasn’t worried about the situation… statistics were better than some of the expeditions I’ve been on…. I decided, like I norally do, to keep my focus on the things I could do anything about.

As the weeks went by I realized that some of the things I had planned for 2020 had to be postponed to 2021 or later. At the same time I knew, to be sure I did not miss out of what could become an amazing expedition at the end of 2020 I had to find a solution to the fact that we were not able to go to the mountains to practice ski-kiting.

Instead of being frustrated, that I could not follow my plan I consider myself lucky to be able to go to a recreational area close by my home. I waned to become a good ski-kiter, so I started following wind forecasts and took every opportunity I went practicing flying the kite. Learning from watching youtube, how to do things and out to practice. On forehand I knew the most important safety things. I was till surprised by several people telling me I was brave to practice on my own without having a course first…

One hour here, and one hour there, it all adds up. While we were asked to stay at home and not allowed to go to the mountains, I learned to fly the kite.

After Easter we were again allowed to go to the mountains. I got the best mentor/teacher I could possibly get. Because I had taken action during the unfortunate situation it all went very quickly from there.

Some days of practicing with him, and some more on my own, skills improved fast. We practiced together – I practiced with different sizes of kites, with and without a sled. I practiced on my own – we practiced on a frozen lake, we practiced in the terrain going a distance of 80 km one of the days. I practiced a day with little to no wind… It has been a awesome journey!

I have loved it. It was also at times scary as I was learning new skills that in a worst-case scenario can go badly. However, it is a bit like learning to drive a car – you first have to learn to break and stop, when you know that you have to practice turning, different speeds, parking etc.

It’s the same here, uphill, downhill – wind from different directions, strong, weak winds etc. There is always something new to learn, and I will continue to practice as I want to be even better – however I can say that I managed to reach my goal of learning to ski-kite this past winter despite what happened.

What have you been able to do despite the current situation?

Goal accomplished! Learned to Ski-kite with a sled despite circumstances

Now let’s see what happens further down 2020 – is there more we can tick off, goals to reach?

I am excited for the future.

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