Over my running years I developed great passion for sustainability. I guess it has always been there… the love of nature in its purity and beauty, sometimes raw and brutal, but always gorgeous. It is my temple, my place of peace, and it must be preserved for future generations. Figuring this out changed also the way I look and review my professional side of life, and the happenings along my running endeavors drive me to think differently about technology and innovation.
Endurance competitions require long term planning and training, exploring and studying all aspects of human body, its spirit and soul, as well as the course with its terrain – climate – and route. Doing this over and over again is also about keeping all parts in good conditions. It is your mind, your work, family – and the obvious: your body. I am sure that I did not become an expert in all of these, but I would like to point out one of my recent thoughts and observations.
After each and every endurance race, my body had to recover. I had very typical pains and some injuries. I used to get some deep tissue message, acupuncture and some supplementation. Normally – I would get back to normal training load in a month or less. Back to normal process became a known procedure – almost a protocol. This protocol worked, but not this time…
Coming back from Antarctica, I felt by far less exhausted then in previous races. On top of this – I did not suffer from any of the “normal pain” that was part of post races recovery. I followed previous protocol, and since I was not exhausted – I got back to training sooner. But… when I was trying to sleep – pain went through my pelvis… Waking up I felt my lower back is all messed up to a point that I could not seat for too long – let alone driving far. So I stopped running…
Went to my therapist(s) -physio and alternative for treatments. It did help a bit, but each time I tried to train “easy” everything went backward. It got to the point that I realized I am trying to solve my pain and not my problem. I had to change something, do something different. So now I decided to get back to training in a moderate fashion, tackling the root cause. It means starting with short and easy runs, having my running watch to pace me slower than what my mind wants. A very different approach, focusing on solving the source of my pain. Slowly I can now see the fruits of this approach.
And this morning, opening my daily google alert brief, I noticed this startup. These smart guys developed a new technology that will enable land recovery from the chemicals sprayed on the crops. A really nice technology, with great potential. But then it hit me – they are trying to treat the pain (contaminated soil) rather then its origin – using chemicals. So the immediate question came to mind: are we investing in the right technologies and solutions?
While obviously, in the short term, decontaminating technologies are critical – does it solve the root cause?. I argue that for the long run we should prioritize technologies that enable system change and make spraying chemicals a “not needed” technology. It is true for most food and ag tech fields. It is about changing the way we do things for good rather then trying to fix damages of our ongoing wrong practices.
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