Thursday, 6th June 2024

Warm hearted Tess delivers Spring Lecture in aid of Cardiac Rehab

Blowing a conch horn, a Tibetan peace symbol, Tess Burrows immediately gained her audience’s attention when delivering the Spring Lecture in aid of Cardiac Rehab.

This 75-year-old adventurer, author and peace campaigner, from Liphook, captivated her audience with her “Cold hands, warm heart” talk, when speaking at the charity’s Centre in Chawton Park Road, Alton.

Afterwards Cardiac Rehab trustee Dr Mike Hayward heralded the lecture as ‘truly inspirational’.

As a 60-year-old, Tess described training for 18 months to become ‘the fittest I have ever been’ for the South Pole race in 2009, racing 500 miles on skis with heavy loads against young men such as the Olympian, James Cracknell, and Ben Fogle.

Tess remarked: “Never be daunted by your exercise programme….When things seem impossible, if you cut them down into bite-sized pieces, then they do become possible.”

Progressive training helped with ‘training the mind to keep going, keep going and keep going’, as the South Pole race would prove to be a huge test of mental endurance.

With her inimitable humour, Tess quipped: “The most fun training was pulling tyres everywhere. This puts together all the right muscles for pulling your sledge across the polar regions.”

And if Hampshire folk asked why she was pulling a tyre containing her supermarket shopping, Tess would encourage them to sponsor her and support her charitable organisation, Climb For Tibet. This she founded two decades ago, together with her then partner Pete, subsequently raising around £200,000. Climb For Tibet supports six schools in Tibet, besides backing humanitarian and ecological projects. Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is the patron and many Tibetan children learn how to read and write, thanks to the organisation.

Tess was inspired to help the planet by the Dalai Lama, and became a peace campaigner, having witnessed the Tibetan tradition of flying prayer flags on mountain tops. She recalled: “I started collecting peace messages from individuals…A peace message is something from people’s hearts, an individual thought from a heart, it could be a prayer, a message of peace, a hope, a wish for the environment.”

Many of the audience gave Tess messages of peace and pledges for the environment that she will issue during her next trip to the Atlas Mountains, in Morocco. She will be travelling over land and sea, rather than by air.



Find out more about the Cardiac Rehab centre

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