Day 255/256 – 33.1 km (total – 6640 km)
Yesterday was a side trip up to Red Deer to visit some schools set up by my friend Todd Nivens. It was a busy day… 2 schools in the morning, a radio interview, a trip to the nature centre that Todd works at, and another school in the afternoon. As usual, I drove back to Calgary feeling energized from the interaction with students!
An old friend from my Outward Bound days emailed me and we ended up exchanging some thoughts around “selling” the idea of being outside. I shared with her that I sometimes feel like non-profits, OE’s and those who care about this issue have to convince those who don’t that this is an important issue. There is now extensive research to share about the benefits of being outside and we use this as ammunition in the various arenas that we work in. So in a way, I sometimes feel as though we’re trying to “sell” this truth. My friend responded by alluding that being outdoors is innate. So we are not selling this, so much as we have forgotten it. And so for her, we are simply reminding people of what they already know and feel in their gut – that being outside is fundamental to our existence. I agree with my friend – I think a lot of people have forgotten how integral our connection with nature is. Yet I have seen time and time again non-profits who have to pitch their program as unique and innovative in order to receive funding. At times they have no choice but to “sell” the benefits of time outside. And I see more and more people who seem more and more addicted to their technology – who walk around with heads down. The internet has created this global community and yet we have trouble actually talking to our neighbours! Is it worthwhile for us (non-profits, OE’s and all those who care about spending time outside) to spend all of this time and energy trying to convince others of the benefits that so many have seemingly forgotten? Or are we continually walking uphill, and instead, simply need to let people realize on their own some of the important things they’ve forgotten? I pose this question simply as a result of some thoughts that have been sputtering through my brain… and that are by no means clear!
My friend Jen arrived in Calgary this morning and I was able to enjoy the run through Calgary. Tomorrow, I run for the mountains! I have seen them in the distance for the past few days and I anticipate my time with them!