10 Women Who Have Done “Impossible” Things


Can you imagine climbing Mt. Everest… twice…. in one week?! One woman did it! Source: Shutterstock.com

Whenever I get frustrated with anything, after about five minutes I throw up my arms and declare, “It’s impossible!” Okay, it is obviously not, but there are a few things out there that I can’t wrap my head around that other people have accomplished.

For example, today I read about a Nepalese Sherpa named Chhurim who climbed Mount Everest not once, but twice… IN THE SAME WEEK. Is your mind blown? Because mine is. In case this was not obvious, she is the first person to have ever accomplished this.

Lots of women like Chhurim have been not only the first of their gender, but the first EVER to accomplish a feat that at one point seemed unlikely. They each took on enormous challenges, but ended up succeeding and making a name for themselves in history.

These nine other women were also the first person to…

Fly solo across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans: Amelia Earhart
She may have been the first woman to fly her plane over the Atlantic Ocean, but after she flew by herself across the Pacific in 1935, became the first person ever to fly over both those oceans.

Ski across Antarctica alone: Felicity Aston
I have to imagine that this was a pretty lonely 59-day trip (is there a lot of Antarctic scenery?), but Felicity was the first to make that 1,084 mile journey solo.

Win two Nobel Prizes: Marie Curie
She won her first in 1903 (for Physics) and her second in 1911 (for Chemistry). This feat also makes her the first person to win multiple Nobel Prizes in different fields.

Ski the Seven Summits: Kit DesLaurier
The Seven Summits are the highest mountains on each continent, and in 2006, Kit became the first person to have skied down at least part of all of them. And I thought my black diamond skiing days were impressive!

Swim from Cuba to the United States: Susie Maroney
In 1997, Susie swam the Florida Straits and became the first person to make this 110-mile swim. She was only 22 when she accomplished this!

Retrieve a broken satellite using a shuttle’s “robotic arm”: Anna Fisher
To be honest, I don’t know a ton about space, but this all sounds complicated, high-tech and extremely important. Anna became the first to complete this challenge back back in 1984. She had been on the “robotic arm” development team, as well.

Go over Niagara Falls In A Barrel: Annie Edson Taylor
This is super dangerous and not advised, but it was a Annie who first proved this “impossible” feat was possible after she survived a fall in 1901. Again, though it may not be “impossible,” don’t do this… ever.

Walk across a slackline between moving trucks: Faith Dickey
This totally sounds impossible, mostly because I never would have thought of it at all. Faith is a Hollywood stunt woman and was the first person to walk a rope connecting two moving trucks. Again, super dangerous, not at all advised, but alas, apparently not impossible.

Have 30 million Twitter followers: Lady Gaga
Okay, let’s finish with one a little less dangerous. Lady Gaga first hit this milestone back in October. However, if you’re a social media maven, I think 40 million is still waiting to be broken!

Would you hope to be the first woman to accomplish a certain feat? What would it be? Tell us in the comments! 

Learn about more amazing women by watching this.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter

Posted in: In the News
Tags: , , ,
  • softballhead

    I also totally agree with Leyla. While I was reading the article, I was thinking, “Where’s Joan Jett? She’s gotta be on here!” The article still covered a lot of cool accomplishments, so I’m just a little peeved by Gaga’s inclusion over Jett.

  • Amber

    Totally agree with Leyla’s comment. This is hardly an “impossible accomplishment” for a woman. Take off your top and make a twitter account for your boobs – pretty sure you’ll get roughly the same sort of results. I can think of a BUNCH of other, more intellectually accomplished women than Lady Gaga… Like, for instance, the first black woman to refuse to sit in the back of the bus (Rosa Parks)? Or those women who first created the feminist movement (the Suffragettes)? There are many examples of intelligent, beautiful, kind, and worldly women in the history of this world who really should get more mention than they do, and who have actually earned their place on a list like this.

    • Meg Malone

      Hey, everyone! I really appreciate your comments. I would love to do another list like this in the future, so I do appreciate you sharing who else you feel should be on the list.

      The Lady Gaga inclusion at the end was meant to be one that is a little bit more lighthearted. Yes, she was still the first person to reach that milestone (which may not have seemed like a reachable number back in the early days of Twitter) and I think it does speak to her being a hard worker in her chosen field and having a cultural impact, but in no way did I mean for this to downplay the amazing accomplishments of the other women that were the “first ever” to do something.

      My goal was to include an achievement that was still a measurable “first person to” do something, but was more lighthearted to just finish off the list (especially one filled with many astounding and dangerous endeavors!). With so many of us being on social media, I thought it might be relatable and kind of a cool bit of “first” trivia to end on. I apologize if I didn’t convey my intentions totally clearly. I agree that there are countless other women firsts out there that definitely deserve attention, and like I said, I hope to be able to spotlight some of those women in the future. Thanks again for your feedback!

  • Leyla

    Really? You put Lady Gaga’s twitter followers on this list as an “impossible” accomplishment for women, but you didn’t mention Joan Jett who was the first woman to be respected as a hardcore rock and roll musician? Fail.