The only way is forward
Guðrún Sveina Jónsdóttir
"I've always been a big fan of the outdoors, ever since I was very young. I’m from Þingeyri in the Icelandic Westfjords and when I was growing up there were no cinemas or anything like that. I was just constantly skiing, skating, or running around in the mountains and that's how it's been ever since."
Guðrún Sveina Jónsdóttir will turn 79 years old this summer but says she doesn't feel old at all. She worked all her life as a midwife in Iceland’s biggest hospital, Landspítalinn, and often jokes about how she simply doesn’t know how to do anything else. "I was always on the go there too, you can't really sit a lot while doing that job."
Guðrún is usually out and about at 7 am every morning, alone. "Other people only slow me down." She has walked all the main hiking trails in Iceland - and when she is not walking, she goes to the gym or plays golf. Guðrún has hiked all over the world, for example, the Way of St. James where she went with her daughter and granddaughter, and hiked a total of 319 km in fourteen days. She lives on the sixth floor and never uses the elevator.
When I was growing up there were no cinemas or anything like that. I was just constantly skiing, skating, or running around in the mountains.
"It just makes me feel good, simple as that. I find that regular exercise and outdoor activities are the best nourishment for the soul and body. I’m pretty sure my physical health wouldn't be where it is if I didn't exercise as much as I do. Of course, it can be challenging to hike a steep mountain or other challenging trails - but turning back is never an option, the only way is forward. It’s all about just going for it."
"Of course it's important to be well prepared, which is why I always wear clothes from 66°North. Sometimes I’m wearing it from head to toe. It's just such wonderful clothing that has helped me in all kinds of circumstances, both in Iceland and, for example, on the Way of St. James."