Dispatches from Iceland #1: We are an expression of forces


We’ve finally arrived in Iceland and settled into an Airbnb apartment in Seltjarnarnes, a few minutes from the city center. It already seems as though we’ve been gone from Vermont for many weeks, although it’s only been just nine days of travel, training, work, and food (!) in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.

A tour of Scandinavia to be sure!

While at the Arctic Encounters conference in Copenhagen last week, I very much appreciated the hospitality of the conference hosts and the many new friends and colleagues both I and Orion made over the three days. In conversations about the Climate Run project, I kept returning an idea raised for me in Matthew Tiessen’s writing about affect and emotion:

“Humans can be thought of not as individuals, actors, subjects, or creators, but as articulations and expressions of their environments. Each of us is a site-in-process, a crossing, where forces come to play. . . . We are an expression of forces.

If we are intentional about the ways that those forces are expressed through our interactions with/in the world, then I think we can begin to realize not only our own potential, but our potential to interact proactively with the world around us.

In order to fully realize and maximize human performance — the goal of my friends at O2X — we need to realize that a runner’s body is more than just itself. We are each very much entangled in a web of complex systems — social, cultural, and ecological.

The world is not merely a space through which we run; it’s a system that includes the body in a complex ecology. A critical part of what I’m learning–and what I hope to share–through the Climate Run experience is the many ways we can contribute to building a consciously inclusive ecology.


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