Spring Retreat

Our spring retreat, at the picturesque Diamond Ridge Retreat Center, was great in spite of wintery weather. Breakfast there, at 7600 ft, was delicious!

20 Mile March

Joe used illustrations regarding dealing with ‘bad weather’ from Jim Collins’ discussion, in his book Great by Choice, of the 20 Mile March (summary at link by Jon Karpman) to encourage us to pace ourselves as we push on in spite of difficulties.

“Throughout the journey, Amundsen adhered to a regimen of consistent progress, never going too far in good weather, careful to stay away from the red line of exhaustion that could leave his team exposed, yet pressing ahead in nasty weather to stay on pace.  Amundsen throttled back his well-tuned team to travel between 15 and 20 miles per day, in a relentless march to 90 degrees south.  When a member of Amundsen’s team suggested they could go faster, up to 25 miles a day, Amundsen said no.  They needed to rest and sleep so as to continually replenish their energy.  In contrast, Scott would sometimes drive his team to exhaustion on good days and then sit in his tent and complain about the weather on bad days.  At one point Scott faced 6 days of gale force winds and traveled on none, whereas Amundsen faced 15 and traveled on 8.  Amundsen clocked in at the South Pole right on his pre-decided pace, having averaged 15.5 miles per day.  Scott in contrast fell behind early, with no plan of a daily pace, and as the conditions worsened, enhanced by his lack of preparation for unforeseen events, he and his team never recovered.”