res•il•ience

Climate Run Vermont is only 6 weeks away!!

As I’ve been ramping up training and preparing for the ride & run, people have asked me, “why did you decide to run in Vermont?” and “what does Vermont have to do with climate change?”

There are 2 kinds of answers.

IMG_3796 (1).jpg

Looking north along the Long Trail in Waitsfield, VT

 

First:

Simply put, I want to run in Vermont because it’s my home, people can join me, and I believe I can have an impact on the places that are dear to me, my family, and my community. Vermont’s temperature may not be increasing as rapidly as in the Arctic, nor do we have glaciers melting billions of tons of ice each year, but climate change is already affecting Vermont in many significant ways:

Second, and maybe more importantly, I’m focusing on Vermont because I want to bring home the concept of building resilience — in individuals, in communities, and in our relationship with the natural world.

What does that mean? The PostCarbon Institute defines a resilience by saying,

A resilient system can adapt to changes without losing the essential qualities that define what it is and what it does.

So, think about the ability of your community, your household budget, a forest, or an animal or plant species — any system, really — to withstand pressure and change and (this is the important part) even if it needs to change a little and adapt, it will remain essentially what it was before. It might look or act a little differently, but the essence will remain.

Leading resilience organizations like the Stockholm Resilience Centre and the Resilience Alliance define our relationship with the natural world like this:

In resilience science, a community and the ecosystem it makes use of are together considered a unified socio-ecological system. The system’s adaptability is a function of general characteristics like diversity, innovation, and feedback, as well as its ability to cope with vulnerabilities specific to its situation and to make deeper transformations if needed.

The keys here are adaptability, innovation, diversity, transformation, and coping with vulnerability.

These are all super important — whether this is while training for a long run, building a plan for community development, or finding ways to work within the resilience framework of an ecosystem.

This is why I’m riding & running 500 miles across Vermont next month — to share the experience and the power of resilience with as many as I can.

All while testing my own.

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