Xuân Mai Xuân Mai Xuân Mai

Throughout December, Evergreen will feature essays, personal anecdotes, and portraits of Washington workers who have used mountain biking và access lớn trails as a tool for coping with the stresses of 20trăng tròn.

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Help us reach our goal of raising $125k by December 31st by making a gift today. Your donation directly supports the Washington mountain xe đạp community through world-class trails, professional rider education, and continued advocacy for sustainable recreation.

Read on for Xuân Mai"s story and khổng lồ learn why trails are important to her:

Xuân Mai Võ

Veterinarian

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Photos courtesy ofXuân Mai Võ

Claustrophobia was the outstanding feeling of my pandemic experience. I recognize the privilege in this statement.

Veterinarians are deemed essential, our profession provides medical care to lớn non-human animals, providing critical expertise in food safety, agricultural operations, scientific research, prevention of disease outbreak, & caring for the well-being of beloved family members. We protect public health through surveillance of zoonotic diseases, those transmissible between animals and humans (such as the ones that your dog or cát are vaccinated against) as well as the agent of the current pandemic. Although my profession prepared me khổng lồ handle the protocols of such an sự kiện, I wasn"t expecting the claustrophobia brought on by the duty to lớn fulfill my social contract through self quarantine, by the betrayal I felt by others" reluctance to lớn participate in caring for others, and by the dibao tay of having to be at work without proper PPE. A healthcare worker"s empathy và dedication to lớn our patients and our jobs often leads to violation of physical and mental self-preservation, regardless of which discipline we are in or of its actual legal requirements. A pandemic worsens the odds against all of us, essential or not.

After the lengthy weeks of the initial quarantine, the constant stressors of work & isolation tugging at the edges of sanity và physical capabilities, a ray of light came when access khổng lồ trails was officially deemed acceptable to lớn public health. Saved from re-enacting a Lord of The Flies situation amongst podmates & colleagues, putting soles (souls!) và tires on dirt trails dissipated my claustrophobia.

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Endorphins released by the physicality of a dig day or a ride, ushered a more restful sleep & tapped inlớn a buried supply of hope, a second wind in the pandemic marabé nhỏ we all find ourselves reluctant participants in. The trails offer a reprieve sầu from the constraints, the stressors of viral risk, & the uncertainty of the future.

Although distanced or out of sight, a tribe of people nói qua these trails relatively responsibly– a tangible promise of familiarity, of adjusted normalcy, things worth the temporary sacrifice and throttling of personal gain. One thing is for sure, regardless of how old a xe đạp is, what material it’s made of, what size wheels it carries, or what powers it, the combination of it and access lớn these trails is solace for many of us. It certainly is for me, pandemic or not.

- Xuân Mai Võ

To see more of Evergreen"s Essential Trails Series, keep an eye on the Evergreen Blog throughout the month of December.

You can directly tư vấn the many benefits of trails by making a donation today. Your gifthelps us get closer to our goal of raising $125k by December 31st.