I wasn't at all athletic growing up. In fact, I failed P.E. in school and couldn't run a mile in my early 30s.
After I had my second child, though, I chose to spend my maternity leave in the Alps, relocating my family to Chamonix, France, for six months. There, a friend took me along for a scramble up a rugged ridge. I fell in love with the adventure that came with being outdoors, feeling the wind on my cheeks, and the exhilaration of reaching a summit.
As with other things in my life, once it became a passion, I dedicated a serious amount of time to getting better at it and learning new skills, like ice climbing, backcountry skiing, and rock climbing.
That was seven years ago. That journey took me to the 14,000-foot peaks around Europe and gave me a feeling of incredible satisfaction of attainment in a physical world. Two years ago, I transitioned to a portfolio career to free up more time to spend with my family and doing things I loved, like philanthropy and mountaineering.
One expedition led to another, and in late 2015 after much deliberation I plucked up my courage and set out on a journey to break the women's world record in an endurance challenge called the Explorers Grand Slam. It involved climbing the highest peaks on each of the seven continents and skiing the Last Degree to the North and the South Poles in a record-breaking eight months.
On June 11, 2016, I summited Denali National Park in Alaska and set the record at seven months and 19 days, beating the previous record by three months. I also became a Guinness Book world record-holder for being the fastest woman to scale the highest peaks on every continent.