Jeremiah’s Polar story
Jeremiah was the first to complete all four Classics and Polar. He shares his top application tips for 2020.Fjällräven Polar | 6 Minutes read
Polar has gone viral. For 2019, over 2.000 people from 92 different countries uploaded an application. Competition to get one of the 24 places available and be able to drive a team of sled-dogs 300km across the arctic tundra is fierce, but the reward is worth all the effort. And it’s important not to let the competition scare you off - the key is determination. Jeremiah, the first person to complete all four Classics plus Polar in 2018, shares his top tips and his personal motivation to beat the odds and take part in the journey of a lifetime.
What really motivated me to apply, and hopefully, win a spot was dogsledding to that extreme.
Jeremiah completed all four Classics, and Polar, in 2018 - this made him the first person to take part in all Fjällräven events available at that time. His motivation to complete the four Classic treks developed when he realised that no-one had ever completed all of them before. But Polar was a different story. Jeremiah applied for Polar half way through completing the Classics. What really motivated me to apply, and hopefully, win a spot was dogsledding to that extreme. Polar is a multi-day journey involving dogsledding over roughly a 300 km distance. For Jeremiah, that was something that he had only seen in the movies. As Jeremiah was in the cold warfare army division earlier in his life he felt interested in taking part in Polar largely due to his love of testing his own extremes in arctic environments. This carried through life with him, continuing the attitude: I love testing my ability to perform, function and succeed in harsh environments. I wanted to see if I could do it and if I could enjoy it. Obviously, the dogs as well. Dogsledding is super rad.
I love testing my ability to perform, function and succeed in harsh environments. I wanted to see if I could do it and if I could enjoy it. Obviously, the dogs as well. Dogsledding is super rad.
With these thoughts in mind Jeremiah set about creating his application video. The application period is annually held for the entire month of November, but that was exactly when the unexpected happened. Texas was hit with strong hurricanes, and as Jeremiah works within telecommunications, he had volunteered to go to Houston on the recovery unit to help rebuild. During that time, which was the same time period as the application window for Polar, Jeremiah’s hometown - Santa Rosa, California - was devastated by wildfires. As Jeremiah recalls, parts of my neighbourhood burned down while I was in Houston and all of the material I had collected for my Polar application was on my computer. In a home that I thought had burned down.
When Jeremiah arrived home, he found that miraculously his house was one of the few in the neighbourhood that was left standing. In the end, he put together his application video in two days, comprised of old footage and photographs from the Classics he had taken part in plus a heartfelt explanation of why taking part was important to him. And then he hit social media hard. As Jeremiah says I wanted to get just high enough in the rankings to be seen by the jury, as I had only been able to put my video together a week before applications closed, getting the popular vote was a tough call. At 4am on the day his named was picked by the jury Jeremiah awoke to texts, phone calls, and social media messages to congratulate him. Jeremiah says, it was an exciting and surreal moment for me, to know that I was going to take part in a journey of a lifetime, even while all this crazy stuff had been happening at home.
It was an exciting and surreal moment for me, to know that I was going to take part in a journey of a lifetime, even while all this crazy stuff had been happening at home.
Jeremiah’s main message for anyone thinking about applying to Polar is to put together a video that means something to you and why you want to do Polar. And just give it your all. Follow the process. Get people to vote for you. But most importantly put together something that means something to you. Jeremiah is an avid photographer, but even for him it could have felt a bit intimidating with the incredibly skilled videographers applying. As with most times in life, it is important not to compare yourself to others. What people really care about seeing is something that best describes you and why you personally want the experience. Jeremiah adds ‘your video and application just needs to be something that other people can connect with. They will see through the fancy videos and high production costs. The reality is that people care about voting for this who are really putting their effort, heart and soul into the application and letting themselves be vulnerable about why taking part is important to them.’ Apart from ensuring that your application is from the heart Jeremiah also advises, ‘If you don’t get it first time, try again next year, and your application will get a little bit better. You will learn about the process and how to get votes. Most importantly you tried rather than that feeling of what if?’
Put together a video that means something to you and why you want to do Polar. And just give it your all. Follow the process. Get people to vote for you. But most importantly put together something that means something to you.
Every year a huge number of people watch, and vote, within the Polar application phase. In fact, last year in 2019, over 950.000 votes were cast by people from all over the world. Since Jeremiah applied, and took part in 2018, he always watches the video applications. He says ‘I love seeing all the videos being submitted. It’s really fun to get to do this event with people from all over the globe. And you will walk away from this experience with 19 new friends that you didn’t have before. From all over the world. One thing you can be sure of is that you will walk away with a bigger family - and who can say no to that?’
To read more about Jeremiah being the first person to complete the Classics and Polar in 2018 click here. And if you are thinking about applying to Polar, we can only say, take a chance, submit an application, vote for your friends across the world. It’s an experience of a lifetime and a journey that will never be forgotten. To apply today visit the Polar website.