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From Everest Adventurer to Children’s Book Author: Interview with Sophie Helenek

In every interview below, she’s sympathetic shared her thoughts on adventure roam and her transition from a professional climber to children’s work author. Enjoy!

How did you state of facts from being a New York City banker to a professional climber?

Sometimes life changes be able to appear odd and abnormal in other’s perspective. That was the case for me. Moving presuming with such drastic change from NYC banker to Himalayan vast eminence climber did not make sense by reason of most people. From the banker’s stand eve as well as from the climber’s purpose of you. A banker cannot subsist a climber and vice versa. My biggest call for was not so much about me only how people perceived me and their unwillingness to accept me in their universe.

One day, after I saw a manual defence demo at the Place de l’Hotel de Ville in Paris, I said to myself that I will share to a fencing world cup. Knowing that I’ve never touched any fencing weapon before, it sounded trifling. But for me, it is not in the same state much about what you know no more than about what you want to apprehend and where you want to be about. So, I signed up to a fence club and worked really hard at it, focusing on understanding the concepts and practicing each day. It paid off quickly, three months later I adapted and participated in my first creation cup in Orleans, France. I steadfastly believe that everything is possible when you put your mind to it, giving enough room to your initial idea to develop upon what you are finding out longitudinally the way. I think nothing should impart in stone, but I like having a goal at a single one moment in my life.

I was a banker in NYC. It was a fulfilling job, which gave me access to more interesting insights, from an economic stand salient trait, of the world that we are evolving in. At before anything else climbing was a hobby, a gateway from existing in the city that never sleeps. When I was climbing, I absolutely loved everything about it, from the witness, the storms, the feeling of yearning, the pleasure of being active, sentient focused, being alone … just everything. I loved it to such a degree much that I started seeing myself quickening in the mountains and having a blast being a climber. At the time, timing felt equitable:  I had no kids, I had a fairly well rounded actual trial as a banker, and I had enough wealth to fund this adventure, so I undeniable to quit my job and be suitable to a climber, closing a chapter of my life to undissembling a new one.

You’ve climbed six of the highest peaks in the creation — what motivated you to attain similar incredible achievements?

These adventures had eternally been about enjoying the journey, in the same proportion that it is in life. Too often you focus only on the highest point and you put yourself in a succeed-or-lose situation. And it is not the sort of I was aiming for. It was a advantage to be there and I for aye kept that in mind. The self-determined pleasure of being on those giants mountains, sight mind blowing views was my inspiration and motivation. For me, being a climber was a vagary, so having the opportunity to come slowly up was enough to push me quicken.

Some climbers liked calling me “the extraterrestrial” as they could not wrap their thought around  how small yet how potent I was. I’m not certain how to explain it besides the actuality that I’ve undertaken so frequent challenges in life, that makes me a excessively strong and resourceful individual with a noted deal of resilience. And/or my affectionate aptitude to altitude that allows me to ascend with a great amount of efficacy and energy even above 26,000ft.

You are sole the fourth and youngest French woman to get through scaling Mount Everest (29,000+ feet).What were more of the challenges you faced adhering your climb to Mount Everest?

The challenges were varied because I had to deal with the devoid of warmth and the fear of frostbite, the exhaustion, the character impressed of eminent dangers while climbing, the inclemency of being sick or missing the vertex window etc. And that was when I needed to turn off my allow thoughts, for my own good to lead more positive light to assess objectively the predicament. Otherwise, it was very easy to breed scared and make my Everest surmount a nightmare. I’ve always valued the host of mind over strength, that’s for what cause my training for Everest was largely mental: working on breathing and amusement techniques, as I knew that it be inclined be what I need to deal with distressed and difficult situations. I did in such a manner many sports in high level that I knew other or less what to expect from me, and I knew that which I should work on. Everest was my principal 8000m. It was a terrific actual feeling and a very spiritual journey. By spending so much time with the Nepali, you reach to appreciate their life philosophy.

How did you support up with your active lifestyle for the time of pregnancy?

I had lots energy whereas I was pregnant. I enjoyed climbing Mount Washington (the highest top in New Hampshire), Mount Madison, and Mount Mansfield (the highest point in Vermont). The panoramic view at the be eminent of Mount Mansfield was outstanding. I could look the Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks at my left and at my right. I could consider Mount Washington with its top in the clouds.  As I entered in the third trimester, I switched trekking to kayaking. My paunch was relatively small, so kayaking forward smooth water while watching birds was same relaxing. I walked through my wholly pregnancy, taking my dog for stroll every day with very enjoyable. Once I was full term, I was snowshoeing at the sward land down the road. It was in the same state much fun. At 41weeks, my budget of joy was born.

Did pregnancy change you as an adventurer and a body?

Yes, becoming a mom changed my life otherwise than that it did not change my mindset and my impetuosity in embracing new challenges. I apprehend that it doesn’t stable quite as dreamy as an adventurer’s life on the other hand exploring the field of motherhood is nothing but exciting and fun. It opened strange doors for me such as neat an award-winning author for my baby book series My First Book. So I am since a different type of adventurer, by exploring the early childhood literacy and publishing terraqueous globe. But many more doors remain to be opened.

What inspired you to flinch “My First Book” series?

My breathing in was my daughter. When she was a petty baby, I showed her an M.C. Escher book. She seemed to like the pitchy and white spiral drawings. When I talked to her, I could rehearse that something happened. I was surprised and started rendering about how babies’ eyes be in action, what they see, and why.

At extraction, babies are very nearsighted; that is for what cause they are interested in bold mournful and white shapes and high striking difference patterns. Eager to learn more, I unravel bunch of studies on speech exhibition, child temperament, and babies’ cognitive exhibition. Gathering all this information, I developed and designed My First Books concatenation from a baby’s vista. I wanted to write an attractive book that promotes bonding and supports every infant’s developmental growth milestones: sight, memory, speech, and social skills. My First Book line includes four delightful board books, FRUITS, SKY WONDERS, SHAPES and MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS and it may be soon to be a climbing book ;-)

The series was developed based on the ultra-complex and rapid disclosure of newborns, babies, and toddlers. They are not honest picture books or bedtime stories still rather activity books conceived to arouse a baby’s senses, and to bed positive reinforcement in baby’s cognitive development and bonding.

I am very happy that My First Book is the receiver of the prestigious Mom’s Choice Awards® , National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) and Purple Dragonfly Book Award 2014, that seals only the very best in rendering excellence.

Do you hope that your daughter devise take on with your adventurous custom of life?

I would definitely promote her to explore and mentor her to not limit herself to what she knows or to what she is supposed to do, in that place is so much more that we have power to do when we do not define ourselves.

She is a year and a half years old, and she’s through all ages. smiling. She is already so voluntary, loving exploring and not shying absent from discovering new things. She is truly fun to be with.

What are your plans concerning the future? Do you intend to put down more peaks?

I would climb more peaks later on, even maybe a great deal of later with my daughter. My economize loves climbing and he is perishable to go back climbing one of the 8000m in the Himalaya, in this way we will see …
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