Speed Reading — Isolation - Level 6 — 300 wpm

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An elite athlete has just emerged from spending a record-breaking 500 days alone in a cave in Spain. Beatriz Flamini, 50, is an extreme mountaineer. She participated in a scientific study to examine the effects of extreme isolation and deprivation on physical and mental health. She had to live in solitude in a cave 70 metres deep. She embarked on the solitary endeavour on the 20th of November 2021 and emerged from her subterranean abode last Friday. After resurfacing, she was given health check-ups by a doctor and psychologist. Rather than have a shower, she faced inquisitive reporters in a press conference, in which she briefly explained the past 16 months.

Ms Flamini was beaming as she told journalists that time had flown by. She said she was surprised when scientists came to tell her the 500 days had ended. She had been constantly monitored by psychologists and cave experts, but had no contact with anyone else. She lost track of time and all perception of time after day 65 "because it was always four in the morning". She explained her attitude, saying: "The most important thing is being very consistent.…I lived up to my commitment to living in a cave for 500 days." She put her success down to being able to "get on very well with myself". She did admit to having occasional cravings for roast chicken.

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