Picture her struggling up an almost vertical ice wall to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain. See her fighting the roaring waves of the Pacific alone in her small sea kayak. Or, think of her training to cope with the extremes of space travel in a flight simulator preparing for her next adventure – her space challenge. There is hardly any better way to reflect Renata’s conviction that life is an adventure.

Renata’s life journey began in Malmö, in 1973. At a very early age she developed a taste for her coming professional career, taking on new sporting challenges, such as bike racing and diving.

Her family often spent their holidays travelling in Europe, camping under very simple conditions, cooking on a small primus stove – things that increased the sense of adventures of a small child. The family trips may not have been the most comfortable, but Renata learned to love the outdoor life, and how to see possibilities instead of obstacles. With each new threshold she passed, her self-confidence grew stronger.

When Renata was working for the Skåne district of the Swedish Sports Confederation she met Göran Kropp. He encouraged and inspired her to take on the mental and physical challenges involved in mountaineering, and introduced her to the sense of community among climbers.

During a journey to Nepal and the Himalayas, she first began to dream about climbing the world’s highest mountain herself. And – following four years of preparation – she accomplished the feat of becoming the first Swedish and Czech woman to reach the summit.

Not long after this, Renata had to face a life-shattering personal challenge. She was unable to be prepared for the tragedy when her life partner Göran Kropp was lost in a climbing accident outside Seattle in the US.

For a very long time, she had to meet each new day by fighting a very different and mental uphill battle, which she had never experienced before.

In 2005. Renata boarded her sea kayak at the quay in Lake Union in central Seattle. This was the beginning of an almost unbelievable adventure, circumnavigating the coast of the USA in 439 days, mostly in her kayak. The day on which she completed her journey, 15 September, has since been designated as ”Renata Chlumska Day” in Seattle.

She may have a longing for the greatest challenges in her blood, but she never underestimates the adventures of everyday life, such as enjoying outings with her children, a bicycle race, a skiing competition or show jumping.

She may have a longing for the greatest challenges in her blood, but she never underestimates the adventures of everyday life, such as enjoying outings with her children, a bicycle race, a skiing competition or show jumping.

Apart from her everyday activities, she is now focusing on her coming big challenge: her space journey which will probably take place in 2015. Renata is of course very aware that this will be a commercial trip, although a very unusual one.

Nevertheless, her preparations are as meticulous as they have been before any of her other advanced expeditions, acquiring new knowledge, meeting astronauts and training with the Swedish defence forces.

For her, this is also an opportunity to learn a whole new range of skills as she expects to be making further journeys into space.

For Renata, the thrills of adventure surpass the extreme efforts during her expeditions. The preparation process is a vital part of each new challenge: planning, financing, training, and getting the right equipment and teams together.

After each successful challenge, she focuses on the evaluation, documentation and use of her experiences to inspire others, not least as a very popular lecturer and speaker for companies and organizations, as well as schools, clubs and associations.

One of the most frequently asked questions about her career concerns why she does this, and how she deals with fear. Her answer is simply that she thrives on her sense of excitement and adventure before each new challenge – will I ever be able to do this?

But knowing how to deal with fear is important to her.  You must never give in to fear, but acknowledge and overcome it.

To Renata, a challenge does no have to be about climbing mountains or journeying into space. Adventure is always waiting around the corner, if you can recognise and accept it.

Read about Seven Summits

Renata Chlumska

Kämpandes uppför en brant isvägg på väg mot toppen av världens högsta berg. Ensam i kajaken mot piskande vågor på ett rytande Stilla havet. Eller, pressad till det yttersta av extrema krafter i en flygsimulator under förberedelserna till nästa utmaning. Resan till rymden. Man kan knappast leva bättre upp till Renatas eget konstaterande, att livet är ett äventyr.

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