The first Middle-East-European woman to complete the Paris-Dakar rally, one of the few to climb the Crown of the World, traveller, editor-in-chief of the Polish edition of National Geographic, a licensed diver and a mother to a beautiful daughter. Martyna Wojciechowska seems to be the perfect start for my series of extraordinary Poles.
I must admit that I wanted to start this series quite a while ago, but I just couldn’t figure out who should be first. There are the obvious choices like Pope John Paul the 2nd or Lech Wałęsa. But … I don’t think I’m quite ready yet, as a “new-born” blogger, to describe quite that high a level of extraordinary personalities. From the more down to earth options, I had a single name going around my mind and today, after coincidentally watching an interview with Martyna Wojciechowska on the Polsat Cafe TV station I just figured it has to be her.
Martyna Wojciechowska, born in 1974, seems to be one of the few people who really do chase their dreams. Which is probably why I happen to admire her, by the way. She probably became most famous for climbing the so-called Crown of the World (also known as the Seven Summits) which is a set of 7 highest mountains, one for each continent. You can also look them up here. This should be enough of an achievement for one person.
But not this one. Martyna Wojciechowska, being a licensed race car driver, took part and successfully completed the Paris-Dakar rally in 2002. For those knowing their way around rallies, it’s obvious that completing the race alone is an achievement worth mentioning.
Apart from her various travel adventures, Maryna Wojciechowska tends to get quite well along in business. She is the editor-in-chief of the Polish edition of National Geographic and leads several TV programs associated with travelling. Some time ago, she also led a reality show called “Misja Martyna” – The Martyna Mission – in which she took people to different places around the world and had them undergo several challenges associated with the life of an explorer.
Martyna is also a mother to a daughter currently aged 3. To me, this proves that one can (although perhaps not easily) combine a family life with even the most demanding personal needs and dreams. It has to be said at that point, that Martyna’s maternity did not leave her public image untouched. There has been a lot of controversies in the tabloid news regarding her going travelling and climbing her last of the Seven Summits when her daughter was only 8 months old. She also went climbing during pregnancy, a move that also did not go unnoticed by the general public.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, success is still feared by the overall majority. As far as I, as a general public observer, can say it all came to a proper finish. Despite the many negative voices on why a mother should risk her life, why leave the child, why this or why that, I see in Martyna Wojciechowska a true inspiration for everyone who has a dream to chase.
Apart from her dream chasing vision, Martyna Wojciechowska did not have an easy life as such. She suffered major illnesses, having her spinal cord broken once and fighting cancer and undergoing chemotherapy at a certain point. Throughout the interview I watched this evening I also learned she’s got asthma. So, as you can see, even critical illnesses don’t necessarily have to stop you from doing whatever you set out to do with your life. Just keep going and you just may succeed. Sit on your butt and you’ll get nowhere.
Going slightly back to the beginning of this post – Martyna remains a great inspiration for me. I hope that people like her may also inspire you to chase your dreams and do things you may have never thought were possible to accomplish.
Oh, and one last thing – for all you guys out there – she also had a session for the Polish edition of Playboy. If you carefully search the net, you just may be able to find some pictures.