Skate across America Day 8: Rapid Adaptation

Oct. 11, 2010


Total Distance for Trip: approx. 123 miles
Current Location: Philadelphia


I’m currently nearly one week into the skate, and I’m feeling pretty well now. I started out on Monday in NYC and arrived in Philadelphia on Sunday, taking one day off. I’m a bit ahead of schedule here, so I will be staying in Philadelphia until Friday. It was interesting getting into the groove of skating these long distances everyday. I’ve been talking about the skate since Memorial day and training for it as well, but nothing really compares to the actual experience of doing it. It’s every bit as strange as I expected (that’s good!). Everyday is an adventure!


Everyday, Dillon and I wake up, hop on Google Maps, and map out the route. We check carefully for good places to cross rivers and try to ensure that there will be no impassable surprises. After my “hiking” experience on Tuesday, we decided to be a little more thorough in our review of the daily routes. The most difficult planning seems to take place in areas where there are lots of rivers; there are only so many ways to cross, and you can’t take an expressway.


I can’t even imagine how someone might have done this in the days before the convenience of online or gps mapping. It really has me thinking about the overall place of planning in the modern age. With so much communication and instant access to information, it is now possible to live almost completely fluidly. Consider this: How often do you jump in your car and start driving toward a place you don’t yet know how to get to? You find the address while on the way and punch it in to your GPS unit as you drive. It’s unbelievable to me that people used to plan out trips on maps with highlighters days in advance of taking them. Business planning is not so different from driving, and more and more, it makes sense to plan as you go. The information we need is so readily available, but I don’t believe we’ve come to understand how powerful that is yet. The fact that I can access just about any document of importance in my life at random from my cell phone, no matter where I am, is fascinating to me. And with widespread mobile internet access, a mind-bogglingly large amount of information is readily available with just a quick search.


Do you see then? We are heading into a world that allows for almost completely organic planning and action. In this world, it is not the most well planned and prepared individual, but rather the most adaptable, who will succeed. The world will move even faster than it already does, and everything will become far more transient than we are yet accustomed to. You must embrace an evolving and adaptive mindset to keep up. It’s not just that change is coming, but rather that a perpetual state of change and adaptation shall become the norm. Are you ready to adapt like that?

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