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English Macedonian

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TESTMONIALS Start Your Transformation
English Macedonian

An Interview with Ilina Arsova, Alpinist

Hello everyone, it is my pleasure to present to you our guest, Ilina Arsova, an artist, skier, climber, and the first Macedonian woman to climb the top of Mount Everest.

Before becoming an alpinist, Ilina graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in 2005. After that, she became a member of the Association of Fine Artists of Macedonia. As an artist, she had over ten individual exhibits in Macedonia and abroad.

Then, Ilina’s career in mountain sports started in 2006. Since then, she has devoted herself to alpinism, freeskiing, flying, rock climbing, and mountain biking. However, her greatest achievement is climbing Mount Everest, the highest peak in Europe that same year, as a part of the Red Cross emergency and mountain rescue team.

Additionally, she climbed five of the seven highest peaks on five different continents until 2016. After that, she completed her objective completely and became one of the 70 women worldwide that have climbed the seven highest peaks on all seven continents.

I feel you are impatient to hear what Ilina has to say about her career and personal life so let’s jump on the interview right now.

    Tose Zafirov

    Mr. Olympia Representative

    Hello everyone, it is my pleasure to present to you our guest, Ilina Arsova, an artist, skier, climber, and the first Macedonian woman to climb the top of Mount Everest.

    Before becoming an alpinist, Ilina graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in 2005. After that, she became a member of the Association of Fine Artists of Macedonia. As an artist, she had over ten individual exhibits in Macedonia and abroad.

    Then, Ilina’s career in mountain sports started in 2006. Since then, she has devoted herself to alpinism, freeskiing, flying, rock climbing, and mountain biking. However, her greatest achievement is climbing Mount Everest, the highest peak in Europe that same year, as a part of the Red Cross emergency and mountain rescue team.

    Additionally, she climbed five of the seven highest peaks on five different continents until 2016. After that, she completed her objective completely and became one of the 70 women worldwide that have climbed the seven highest peaks on all seven continents.

    I feel you are impatient to hear what Ilina has to say about her career and personal life so let’s jump on the interview right now.

    Tose Zafirov:

    Dear Ilina, I want to start by saying thank you for taking the time to do this interview. It is a great honor for me to get to know someone as successful and determined as you. So, to start, who is Ilina Arsova? Would you mind sharing the most significant events in your life with our readers? Furthermore, how did you come to be who you are today?

    Ilina Arsova:

    Hello Tose, and thank you for having me. The sports I have been practicing since I was a child have strengthened me physically and mentally to be determined and persistent in achieving my goals.

    Additionally, education and life experiences have made me versatile and flexible, thus able to handle any situation. And art, also constantly present in my life, stimulates my fantasies and creative mind.

    Tose Zafirov:

    Even though I am aware of your dedication, I am curious as to how this story began. How did you originally become involved in this sport? Besides, do you remember what specifically motivated you to do this?

    Ilina Arsova:

    I have been doing sports since I was little. First, it was karate, then swimming. I practically started walking in Vodno, thanks to my parents. After that, at the age of 14, I found myself addicted to adrenaline when I enrolled in parachuting at the Aeroclub. So, at 16, I was already paragliding, and at 20, I discovered the rocks and benefits of the high mountains, which I can not get enough to this day.

    Tose Zafirov:

    A professional with your level of experience in the field probably has a lot of great memories. However, do you recall the details of your first climb? Furthermore, was it a memorable event that you will always appreciate?

    Ilina Arsova:

    Of course, that was my first climb of Mont Blanc in the French Alps in 2006, when I fell in love with the Alpine landscape and the original power of the mountains.

    Tose Zafirov:

    Every activity in sports and daily life has its challenges. What difficulties do you encounter when hiking?

    Ilina Arsova:

    There are many, starting from fear, physical exhaustion, dehydration, and avalanches to severe winds, harsh cold, and emotional difficulties.

    Tose Zafirov:

    Which of your adventures do you remember the most? Climbing Mount Everest is, without a doubt, the most well-known. Therefore, do you view it as your greatest success, or are you thinking of something else? Moreover, would you want to provide any additional details about this trip?

    Ilina Arsova:

    Mount Everest is my most outstanding achievement that has written national sports history. Still, as a personal record, I would single out the feats of ski mountaineering when I climbed and descended several high mountains with a maximum height of 6,500 m. in classic telemark style.

    Also, I would undoubtedly single out being among the 70 women in the world that climbed the seven highest peaks on all seven continents.

    Tose Zafirov:

    All of this is impressive, but I’m sure it took a lot of work to become this successful. Therefore, how do you get ready for a mission, and do you stick to a particular routine?

    Ilina Arsova:

    Each mountain has its own problematic part, whether it is a technically steep mountaineering challenge or harsh isolation with extreme temperatures. As a result, for every problem or situation, I practice what awaits me.

    For example, for the Matterhorn, Ama Dablam, or Puncak Jaya, I trained more on the rock, while I trained cold by swimming in cold water in Alaska and Antarctica. Psychological training is also essential in every situation, and I will tell you about it in one of my motivational training sessions.

    Tose Zafirov:

    How do you constantly maintain a healthy body? Also, do you think that adding gyms and fitness facilities to your routine can be advantageous?

    Ilina Arsova:

    I find gyms and workouts excellent places to stay in shape in winter, although I enjoy exercising more in nature. Because I am sometimes too busy with work, I try to have installed all the training equipment I need, even at home in my hostel in Ohrid.

    As I need to maintain a climbing shape, it is essential to keep my toes strong. So, hanging and bending the toes are recommended. All of this, combined with yoga, swimming, and cycling, helps me stay in good shape even during a pandemic.

    Tose Zafirov:

    Would you mind outlining any of your future plans? Do you intend to continue moving forward in this field, or do you have other aspirations?

    Ilina Arsova:

    Yes, I believe in the words “a person learns while he is alive.” I constantly aim and work to upgrade and improve some of my life skills, although it is not so easy for us because we live in a society full of envy and hatred that absolutely prevents us from progressing. Still, that is precisely why I just launched another brand new initiative, the women’s Kachuv school, which just yesterday, on June 27, had its first meeting on the rocks in Demir Kapija.

    Tose Zafirov:

    How do you find a balance between your career and personal life? Furthermore, is this a tough challenge for a woman?

    Ilina Arsova:

    A big challenge for every strong and independent woman is to find someone who will follow her in life. I may not be the best example of balancing myself because, often, the discipline can succumb to the compromises I make to keep up with my partner.

    Tose Zafirov:

    What tips would you give newcomers in your field if you had the chance, and what message would you send to the world?

    Ilina Arsova:

    It is never too late to start with what makes you happy, and do not let anyone convince you otherwise because even the most experienced were once beginners.

    Final Words

    Ilina, thank you for the honesty in your answers. You are a big motivation for many people, and I wish you continue with successful endeavors in the future.

    If you want to find more details about Ilina’s life and career, visit her official Wikipedia page and her creative project.

    For more inspiring stories, feel free to check the Interviews page. 

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