Gutsy Goddess—Ann Daniels

I am honored to introduce Ann Daniels, world-record-breaking polar explorer—one of the first women in history to reach the North and South poles as part of all women teams!

“When your back is against the wall you have to come out fighting.”

“I chose this challenge as I found myself the divorced mother of young triplets and had to do something to fight my way out of my own dire circumstances, both mentally and financially.


Catlin Arctic Survey 2010
© Martin Hartley

“My most favourite place on earth is the Arctic Ocean, where the surface underneath your feet moves constantly and changes every moment of the day. A few years ago myself and 2 other woman made an attempt to reach the North Pole from land, crossing the Arctic Ocean from Nunavut, in the North West territories of Canada and hoping to make a world record by being the first all women’s team to walk to the North and South Poles. We had already completed the journey to the South Pole.



The journey North was fraught with difficulties from the start. For the first 27 days we endured temperatures on the thermometer of between -46°C and -50°C (-51F- -58F). We suffered from Carbon monoxide poisoning and after 3 terrible storms we each had frostbite of the fingers and toes. The ice cracked up beneath our tent on more than one occasion and after 37 days of an 80-day window of opportunity we had completed just 69 miles of the 500-mile journey. Despite losing a team member on our resupply plane we refused to give in and against all expectations, even our own, we made it to the North Pole safely.

“Your future is your own responsibility and staying a victim is not the answer when there are other options. You can be a good mother and still have a full and varied life. Don’t let fear of failure stop you having a go at anything. Even if you don’t get the result you want, you will have experienced something unique to you and will have learnt something.

“I am currently working on a program to help recovering mental health individuals to take part in an expedition which will offer hope to other sufferers and shine a light on what can be achieved rather than focusing on what can’t.”

Always Remember: “You are good enough. Don’t let anybody else take away your self worth. You are good enough.”

We’d love to have you join the conversation. Please comment below—you never know who you might inspire or where it might lead.

For More Gutsy Goddess click here.


  1. Great story … so inspiring!! Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is inspiring!!

  3. Reading that she had finished only 69 miles of the 500-mile journey after 37 days gives me hope that I may yet finish my own project!

    • admin_laughingatthesky June 16, 2017 at 12:41 pm

      Haha Nancy. I was thinking something similar. If she can walk for days in -58F then I should be able to sit on the sofa and write at 70F. Now if I can only write well.

  4. The inner fire and perseverance you had on your amazing quest , inspires me to keep on going in my quest to put my body back together after back surgery and set backs. I will be whole again.

    • admin_laughingatthesky July 23, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      I hope your back is healing quickly Kretz. I can tell from your story that you too have inner fire and perseverance. Hang in there. Dennis and I are thinking of you.

  5. Amazing!

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