At the end of 2018 we reached out to Anje Craft and asked if she would enlighten us on her quest to complete the "7 Summits". Anje is one tough competitor, with a very impressive adventure resume. She has just returned to training having dealt with a recent surgery, but this definitely won't stop her from getting stuck into a massive 2019. Read on to learn a bit more about Anje and her journey thus far...
"I've just turned 36 and really started heavily getting back into fitness in 2015 after going through a relationship break up. in 2016 a few mates and I did the 96 km GC Kokoda Challenge and formed 'Team Extreme'. Team Extreme is a group of like minded people (now grown to 8 guys and myself) who like pushing the boundaries, having fun and encouraging each other to be better in all physical things we undertake.
I play indoor netball for the Gold Coast and socially throughout the week in addition to doing a range of other activities such as running, hiking, weights, boxing and HIIT workouts. I absolutely detested running because I was always really slow and it was so hard for me to do ... it sucked! - but this all changed in August 2018 when I decided that I was going to conquer it! So since then I've utilised the help of some great coaches (running, breathing, mindset/mental strength and nutrition) to help me reach some goals. And I'm also surrounded by some amazing guys that I train with everyday (Team Extreme and others).
For 2019 I've got the following lined up:
March - summiting Mt Kilimanjaro (#1 in the 7 summits)
April - completing the Great Wall of China Marathon (first running event ever)
May - UTA100 (second running event ever)
July - 96km Kokoda Challenge
November - summit Mt Kosciuszko (#2 in the 7 summits)
Since 2016 I've done the Kokoda Challenge on the Gold Coast and a few other things such as obstacle course races, some trail runs here and there, netball etc.. In April 2018 I did Mt Everest Base Camp. This is what sparked my obsession to do the 7 summits - the freedom, peace and scariness is what drew me in. Being at the mercy of the elements is just amazing. Yes - I am also PETRIFIED off heights!!! Just an added challenge! I'm completing the first 2 of the summits this year as mentioned above. In 2020 I'm going to Russia to summit Mt Elbrus (the highest mountain in Europe). Then next 4 I haven't planned too much about yet but they are pretty serious and I need to do some proper training on glaciers etc to be able to do those. I'm looking at doing that training in 2020 in NZ.
My why - Exercise is just a massive part of who I am. I love getting up early every day and working out until I'm completely spent. I feel awesome for it and it brings a lot of confidence and happiness to me. You could say I'm addicted to achievement - I'm always setting crazy things to complete and then working my ass off to conquer them. I love to continuously set hard goals and be out of my comfort zone as much as possible. Setting a goal to complete the 7 summits is the hardest and scariest thing I could think of ever doing in my life - so why not have a go at that.
The biggest challenge for me at the moment though is not doing a single bit of training for almost 3 months due to some heart issues which led to having heart surgery on 3 January this year. I'm still recovering from this. I've lost a lot of fitness and have put on some considerable weight which is going to make everything I do over the next few months even more difficult. But I'm up for the challenge!"
Stay up to date with Anje's adventures on Instagram
We wish you all the best in you recovery and plans for your events this year and beyond Anje! Thanks again for contributing to our weekly journal.