Lauren Muses about Winning

[This post belongs in a series of 7 entries written to build community and receive donations to support the Climate Ride, a 320 mile cycling pilgrimage I made in October, 2011.  Several entries focus on and celebrate the particular efforts of each of the 4 NGOs I designated to receive funds I raised for the ride.]


“This is not about the whales anymore.  It’s about us.”

– Thomas L. Friedman

“Live in Joy; live in Peace, even among the troubled.”

The Buddha

Last weekend, I received an email that really surprised me.  Climate Ride organizers wrote to let me know I was $32 behind the TOP Fundraiser for the Ride.  Wow, only $32!!!  …And then the other emails came, reminding all us cyclists of the incentives and the prizes we could win.  Having paid very little attention to incentives thus far, I watched my response: “Hmmmm, what could I win?”  And then, “What am I talking about?  I don’t need anything.”  Which was followed by, “Lauren, are you afraid to win?  Is winning a bad thing?”

Are you familiar with this conversation?  I used to deny that I was a competitive person.  While I’m not totally comfortable with winning, what’s more true, is that I really hate losing.  I like it when we all succeed….together!  So what does this mean in regards to climate change and the health of our Earthly home?  For starters, the Friedman quote above is short-sided and we all know it (evenTom).  If the whales lose, we all lose.  More compellingly, though, I am struck by the Buddha’s invitation – to find a place of joy and peace, and to stay with it, despite the challenges surrounding us.  This practice doesn’t place value on winning or losing, but rather on showing up and being present, for whatever is happening.  It’s a highly active response and one that requires a great deal of tending.

Tomorrow, Sept 23rd, the fundraising totals for the Climate Ride will be tallied.  Will I win?  Will I lose?  Ack!  I feel a tightening in my chest!!!  I’m cycling in the Climate Ride so that we might ALL win – the whales, the trees, the earthworms, all of us; AND…I’m cycling in the Climate Ride as part of my practice to show up for that which is without guarantee.  I have no idea if humans will win or lose in our struggle to protect the Earth and Her species.  Amidst, the eco-news that can be troubling indeed, I intend to cultivate joy and peace, whenever and wherever possible.

For those of you who’ve already given, thank you very much!  AND, If you’re someone who would still like to give, you have ONE day left!  Thank you all so much for your support!