“Often we’re trained to walk away from discomfort.
“To walk away from challenge.
“And a subtle shift can get you to a point where you want to run at that thing.
“What does a lion hate the most? When his prey starts running at him…”
Polar explorer, expeditioner, leader, motivator, businessman, philanthropist, veterinarian, three-time world record holder.
Meet Geoff Wilson.
Wilson was the first person to kitesurf across the Torres Strait from Australia to Papua New Guinea.
He holds the record for the longest land journey by kite across the Sahara desert as well.
And to top it off, he also was the fastest to cross Antarctica unsupported using wind power.
He covered 3,428km over 53 days in that journey.
Wilson was brought in to the club as a guest speaker, to share his experiences as an adventurer with the Gold Coast SUNS playing group.
He spoke on his need for mental toughness throughout his expeditions and shared how the same can be applied to high-performance athletes.
“My interest is in the very limits of human endurance, particularly in a desert environment whether it be polar or Sahara-type desert,” Wilson told SUNS Media.
“The key tenets to an athlete performing at his highest ability are really similar to an expeditioner crossing a brutal landscape.
“The mental toughness to back yourself and do that journey safely and do it well and get across in one piece is very similar to what a high-end athlete needs to do to back themselves getting on the paddock, performing at their best and coming home with the win.”
An athlete and expeditioner both prepare for the task at hand, but in different ways.
An athlete trains hard to be able to perform for two hours once a week.
An expeditioner trains to be able to perform for months on end.
“The timeframe is different but the amazing thing is the mental toughness that you can develop and your attitude to challenge and attitude to risk (is the same),” Wilson said.
“That ability to pull a game out of the fire when you’re absolutely assured of losing is very similar to the mental toughness required to survive an Antarctic storm or do a crossing that people have previously tried and died or not been able to do.”
Wilson was born to be an adventurer.
From numerous near-death experiences to impressive desert journeys and challenging Antarctic expeditions, his achievements are nothing short of inspirational.
Some may call him crazy for attempting what many thought was impossible, but he’s proved them all wrong.
Wilson hosted a Q&A after his presentation and has been able to provide invaluable learnings for Gold Coast’s players to use in their own careers.