Polar Maidens’ expedition organiser, Jan Meek, is currently a motivational speaker. She’s also a loving grandmother, mother and wife.
Jan Meek provides motivational presentations to schools, charities and non-commercial organisations and businesses. She is also the Polar Maidens’ expedition founder and organiser.
In Jan’s early career she was a continuity girl for TV and film. She had an office next door to Roger Moore’s dressing room whilst he was filming ‘The Saint’!
She later worked for five years in Saudi Arabia with the United States Geological Survey, then returned to the UK where she ran several businesses (including a children’s boutique and a wedding venue). Finding the time in between a busy career to become the first female Chair of Chipping Norton Chamber of Commerce, Town Mayor and non-executive director of Heart of England TEC. Throughout the various jobs Jan has had, she’s developed the skills to speak to large audiences.
In the 90’s after the tragic death of her husband, Jan found a passion for adventure and this became her way of life. In 1994, she cycled around China. In 1998 she rowed 3505 miles across the Atlantic with her son in a 23ft rowing boat. 2007 found her racing 403 miles to the North Magnetic Pole (as part of Sir David Hempleman-Adams’ expedition) and in 2008 she trekked to the Geographic Pole. These adventures earned her Guinness World Records including:
- First mother and son team to row any ocean (1998)
- Oldest woman to row an ocean in a mixed pair (1998)
- First mother and son team to reach a pole (2007)
In 2014 Jan trekked to the Everest Base Camp to gain altitude experience of 17,700 feet in preparation for her planned trek of taking four women to the South Pole. She will be the only woman to have undertaken this so another potential Guinness World Record is on the cards.
The first challenge Jan faced was when she was aged just four and a half. This was when she was sent to boarding school which made her stand on her own feet from a tender age. Throughout her life she’s moved a total of 54 times. This resulted in her frequently changing schools as a child and continuously creating new networks as an adult.
One huge challenge Jan has dealt with in her life was the death of her husband at the age of 47. The way she looks at it is: “It was the end of one life but the beginning of my life for adventure.”