personal resilience

With 12 days to go to the Vermont Climate Run and with tapering starting in earnest on Sunday, I’ve started to hone in on ‘last-minute’ logistics: what will I need at each night’s camp, which road crossings need to be fully-stocked aid stations (and what will I need there), at what time is it *really* light enough to bike without a headlight, how many calories do I need each day, and so on.

As I was fighting a blustery headwind on a ride through Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom on Wednesday, I was also starting to reflect on what I’ve learned about resilience over the past four years of planning and completing Climate Run adventures.

I thought I’d share some of those reflections as I count down to Go Time at 4:30 am on June 20th.

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Another beautiful Northeast Kingdom training ride

Of all the parts of building a resilient framework, interdependence may be among the most difficult to fully realize (There are plenty of articles and conferences aboutResilience and Interdependence of Critical Infrastructures,” but that’s not quite what I mean here). 

We are all individuals, for sure, but the more I put myself out there and push myself, the more clearly I see my own interdependence with other people, places, systems, and structures.

How do I define interdependence?

Essentially, it means accepting I can’t do it all by myself.

Even more, it means realizing that letting go of the self and asking for help is actually a good thing! 

When it comes to adventure running, this has become so clear — from coaches and competitors family, sponsors, friends, students, and pacers — everyone is an integral part of building resilience in the project. Without the more than 20 people committed to either pacing or giving support at camps and road crossings (in addition to dozens of other friends and supporters), this 500-mile adventure would hardly be possible.

We’re all individuals, for sure…

…but all of us are part of such a deeply interwoven system of relationships — some that we rely on every day, and some that we may not call upon for months or years at a stretch — and knowing we can’t tackle all our challenges alone can be both empowering and make us feel super vulnerable.

Building personal resilience is hard.

It takes both deep introspection and the ability to look beyond ourselves.

All at once, it can be joyful, frustrating, terrifying, and awakening.

And it takes time.

But I’ve learned since starting out on this jounrey 4 years ago that every step matters — no matter how small it may seem.

 

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Sunset in the Kingdom

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