Nelly Attar

First Arab Woman to Summit K2, Founder of Saudi Arabia's First Dance Studio MOVE

Marcus has a great conversation with Nelly Attar, a Lebanese national born in Saudi Arabia, who became the first Arab woman to summit K2, the world’s second-highest mountain. As if that weren’t enough, Nelly also successfully reached the top of Mount Everest and has scaled 14 other peaks across the world, completed 2 Ironman 70.3 races, ran 6 global marathons/ultramarathons, and has completed about 100 scuba dives in a span of four years. Nelly is also a psychologist, life-coach, and held dance-fitness classes for females in her studio – Move – Saudi Arabia’s first dance studio, and one of the first studios of its kind across the Middle East. Even with such an impressive resume, Nelly states “I still don’t know what I want to do in life. I’m still figuring it out.”

In this episode you will hear:

  • Sports changed my life, and I strive to change the lives of many through movement and sports.
  • In Saudi Arabia, women can drive now.
  • 5 to 7 years ago, everything was still segregated between males and females – even in weddings. Now everything is mixed.
  • Not long ago, women couldn’t even own a gym, and it was taboo for women to train on the streets.
  • Saudi was listed as the least active country in the world.
  • My mindset is: if it works out – amazing. If it doesn’t – come back home.
  • I’m grateful for the kingdom and the king for all the opportunities I have today.
  • In climbing, there’s a fitness component, altitude, and weather.
  • If it’s not a challenge, then why am I there? Why would I train so hard if I knew I could do it?
  • While climbing K2, I got a panic attack on the blue ice just a few hundred meters away from the summit. It took five weeks to climb.
  • If there’s one thing I do consistently right is that I take risks.
  • If you’re curious about something, just do it.
  • You don’t stop training because you age, you age because you stop training.
  • Just move. You’ll be helping yourself.

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