What's the Thesis Name / by Stefaan Conrad

I thought for a while that naming my thesis project would be a difficult task. How do you come up with a title that will encapsulate the message that you want to share? How do you simplify the sentiments of a project into a single word or short phrase?

Turns out I was able to generate some concepts without too much strife. Part of what helped me gain direction was reading through the articles I’d received from my writers. Many of them had a string of thought that they all shared; nature is a place they go not only to practice their sport, but in doing so, reconnect with who they are.

With this concept in mind, I made a list of words that I felt expressed that sentiment: restore, restart, refresh, rejuvenate, and reconnect are a few of them. Ultimately, I felt drawn to the word recalibrate. This word gives me a sense of connection to why I choose to go outside. Life can hit hard sometimes. I end up feeling broken, confused, weary, rundown, and lost. Sometimes my mind convinces myself that I’m stuck and alone in a vast world which remains unchanged by my individual efforts.

It’s those times where the only fix is to get out. It’s amazing how much direction and clarity I can gain from getting away from the routine of daily life. Sometimes the only way to change the feeling of being lost in my own mind is to truly get lost in a world that’s far more magnificent than anything else human kind has begun to imagine. I can try as I might to find direction from within myself but nothing resets my mind like experiencing creation the way it’s meant to be experienced; heart pumping, lungs burning, muscles screaming. Moments like this show the true power and majesty of the natural world while simultaneously Mother Nature lends herself to be a beautifully woven tapestry on which I push and search for peace and restoration. At the end of the day, I come away challenged and renewed, blessed and de-stressed, inspired and redirected, connected and empowered…recalibrated.

Recalibrate is a collaborative expression of these feelings. It’s a book about people seeking restoration…

…and finding it.


The experience behind this picture is a manifestation of what I’ve described. There is no trail to this location, only a ridge so steep that you have to use your hands to pull on thigh-high grass to get yourself up. It had poured the day before and that left the mountain side soaked with water. We were up before 4 am and spent the next two hours with headlamps on, soaked from the waist down, pulling our way up the ridge. We were gettin towards the top but from our vantage point, the top was shrouded in a massive cloud that was slammed against the other side of the ridge. Rarely is a physical battle with nature not worth it so we continued to the top. We beat the sun stood at the top in a cloud while we waited for sunrise. In a matter of minutes, the tail of the cloud brushed past us leaving us quite speechless.

My description my seem too good to be true. It was. I look at the pictures and I have a reaction which takes me to the sheer wonder we felt on the ridge that morning. That feeling of awe has repeatedly captured my being throughout the journey of creating this project.

When you feel lost, broken, stuck, and disconnected, get outside.

Push harder.

Go farther.