Meagan McGrath dragged a 200-pound sled alone on a 40-day trek to the South Pole and cheated death when she fell into a crevasse and was trapped for eight hours, but she’s inspired by the everyday struggles of women juggling families and careers.

As she told an International Women’s Day breakfast yesterday, when that fall almost ended her Antarctic adventure before it began, she drew on the same sense of purpose that guides many women in their daily lives to keep going.

“We all do it and that’s why it wasn’t any different in that particular circumstance when I made the decision to carry on ... it’s not unique — women do that every day. They analyze what they’re doing and justify their actions for the betterment of their families.”

Ottawa Coun. Diane Deans, who has hosted the Women’s Day breakfast since 1997, said the decision to invite McGrath as keynote speaker was an easy one.

“I think she’s an inspirational woman,” she said. “She’s living the dream and on International Women’s Day it’s really important to promote women and to celebrate women’s achievements.”

McGrath, an army major, has taken a year’s leave to pursue adventure. She leaves Friday for a seven-and-a-half-month climbing tour of the Himalayas.

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