Above The Northern Ice

Illustration by The New York Times; photograph by Quince Mountain

One year ago, when I first encountered Blair Braverman, I did not follow through to find out more. It is easy to remember why because it was the last stretch of pre-pandemia, and it was the last time I travelled, and that last portion of February, 2020, remains vividly clear in my memory.

As it happens this morning, exactly one year later, we are getting on an airplane and traveling from Costa Rica to Ithaca, New York where we will spend a few days taking care of some paperwork that is a legal requirement for operating our businesses in Costa Rica. I would not get on an airplane right now if it was not a legal requirement, and while we are taking all possible precautions it would be impossible not to have the obvious concerns. In that context, hearing Blair Braverman talk about her work in an odd way has a calming effect. And given that yesterday I was reading about life under the southern ice, it is fitting today to share some perspective on life above the northern ice. Click the image above or the title below to go to the podcast for a half hour of pure escape.

Lessons on Resilience From Dogs and Dog Sledders

The adventurer Blair Braverman has led a team of sled dogs over a 900-mile race in Alaska, seen her skin dissolve in the desert and overcome Covid-19. What makes it all less terrifying? Accepting the unknown.

In the midst of a pandemic, everyday life can feel like an endurance event. Enter Blair Braverman, a dog racer, writer and an adventurer who has built a career surviving harsh conditions. Her advice? A critical part of the race is making sure you rest along the way. “Just think to the next checkpoint,” she says, “whatever your next goal is.”

In this episode of “Sway,” Kara Swisher and Braverman debunk the myth of the alpha dog, explore the benefits of yielding to — rather than trying to own — nature, and discuss why it may be better to be eaten by an animal than hurt by a human.

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