It’s time to realize just how lucky we are.
If there is one thing these last few months have taught us, it is how lucky we are.
How lucky we are to live in a state where we’ve seen so few direct victims of Covid-19.
How lucky we are to have access to the trails and forests and lakes that draw people from around the world to vacation here.
How lucky we are to have the space to social distance. How lucky we are to have some of the world’s top athletes here to inspire us.
How lucky we are to be part of the vibrant, supportive community that forms the outdoor industry.
How lucky we are to be white.
Really? Lucky to be white? Are we? We may not deal with the degree of hate that is sadly common in other states. But nor do we benefit from diversity.
How much are we missing because we haven’t integrated a wider variety of skin tones, cultures, religions or genders into our hikes and mountain bikes, our ski forays and runs.
I say “we” because 94.2 percent of Vermont’s population is Caucasian.
That “whiteness” has been there like a low, underlying rumble. Like background noise, we don’t notice it because we are so used to it.
But after the incidents of recent weeks, that noise has become a roar.
Now that we are finally listening, we realize how deaf we have been. By “we,” here I mean us here at Vermont Sports.
While we like to think we have been color blind, in many cases we have just been blind.
We haven’t done a good enough job of showcasing more diversity in our pages. We haven’t worked hard enough to represent minorities of all types. We haven’t tried hard enough to answer the question: how can we grow Vermont’s non-white 5.8 percent?
We are working to change that, and we are asking for your help and patience. It takes months to pull stories together so it won’t happen overnight. As a tiny staff, we rely heavily on outside contributors to pitch us stories and photos.
But rather than sit and stew over what hasn’t happened and what we haven’t done, we’re going to take a cue from Ted and Laura King.
When these two elite gravel racers—athletes at the very top of their sport—found out their 2020 season was cancelled they could have sat back and breathed a sigh of relief.
Instead, they doubled down. While juggling a newborn, both parents managed to bang out the most insanely grueling solo rides of their lives. They talk about them in “Excellent Adventures,” on page 13.
This issue is also a celebration of all things summer and of all the things we can still do here in Vermont, even when events are cancelled. There are still islands to camp on (thanks to the easing of Covid-19 restriction in late June), ponds to paddle, state parks to explore. We can dive shipwrecks or swim across pristine mountain lakes.
We may not be able to toe the line at the start of our usual favorite summer races or mingle at post-ride events but there is one thing we can do and that’s to appreciate how lucky we really are.
Lisa Lynn, Editor