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Alison Levine: History-Making Polar Explorer + Mountaineer  (ep. 390)

Alison Levine

John O’Leary welcomes history-making polar explorer + mountaineer Alison Levine to the Live Inspired Podcast to share how you can achieve more than you ever thought possible.

Alison Levine knows what it’s like to survive in the world’s toughest environments. She served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, scaled the “Seven Summits,” and skied to the North and South Poles.

Join our discussion to hear Alison recount her history-making expeditions, the lessons in leadership they’ve taught her and how you can achieve more than you ever thought possible.

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  • “Technique and ability alone do not get you to the top—it is the willpower that is the most important. This willpower you cannot buy with money or be given by others—it rises from your heart.”
  • “We can’t control the environment; all we can control is the way we react to it.”
  • Adventure Grand Slam: Alison served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, climbed the highest peak on each continent and skied to both the North and South Poles—a feat known as the Adventure Grand Slam, which only twenty people in the world have achieved.
  • Alison is the first American to complete a 600-mile traverse from west Antarctica to the South Pole following the route of legendary explorer Reinhold Messner.
  • Get a copy of Alison Levin’s New York Times bestselling book On the Edge here.


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  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. Span of Control by Carey Lohrenz.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. Be more extroverted.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. My photo albums, especially those not digital.  
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. Pasang Lama Sherpa, the first female to scale Mt. Everest.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. What you say doesn't matter as much as how the person interprets it.
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. Be more compassionate to yourself.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. She loved dogs. She encouraged others to try.