why run?

I am not a pro runner.

I’ve never made my living as an athlete.

I’ve never entered a race as an elite runner.

I have been running for many years and racing for at least the last twenty. Apart from that, my wife and long-time adventure-life-partner, Jen, and I have climbed, skied, biked, and hiked all over the U.S. and beyond; I’ve been teaching rock and ice climbing for most of that time; I started a college athletic program, coached trail runners; and I share all my adventures with my son as much as I can.

Half a lifetime living an intentionally adventurous life.

Since I began working on the Kjölur Run project, I’ve been asked lots of questions:

 “Why running?”

“What does running have to do with the climate?”

“Why are you doing this?”

I’ve become pretty adept at answering these questions:

“Running is a way to engage with the environment in an intentional way.”

“Making myself vulnerable to the world is one of the best ways to build a relationship with the world around us.”

“I want to try to inspire others to make meaningful choices and make meaningful change.”

“Running can build resilience, community, and hope.”

But, on our way to school last week, my son Orion (who, at age 10, will come with me to Iceland to be part my support team) said, “I’m excited to go with you…but why do you have to run across Iceland, Daddy?”

Silence.

I stumbled a little, then started again. “Well, for lots of reasons, but partly, I’m doing it for you.”

“Why for me?”

“Well…I want you to be as proud of me as I am of you.”

“Oh don’t worry about that. I’m always proud of you, Daddy!”

Could anything really matter more than that?

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