By ice rivers
Staus Quo sounds like a river in China.
The only river in China that I know a little about is the Yangtzee. The river flows west to east but the wind in China blows east to west which means the river can be navigated in both directions. A navigator of the Yangtzee said that the only way to navigate the length of the river and survive is to consider the river (status quo) to be your enemy.
Rowing works fine whenever you're headed downstream. Upriver is when the wind becomes not just a convenience but a necessity because the wind is almost always blowing upriver. It is because of this wind that junks sail the river. It is because of this wind that China is China.
Sections of the Yangtzee are literally gorgeous in that the river is surrounded by gorges. In those sections where gorges don't surround the river and the wind grows still, men bound to the shore with ropes. Climbing over rocks and boulders as they go, these men pull the junks upriver. In the old days, these men were beaten with whips to get their pulling done. Since the revolution, those whips are gone and the skilled men who pull the junks, once mindless beasts, are now valued for ther strength, courage and expertise.
Even though the pullers are mighty and skillful, they become useless between the gorges. It is at this point, however, that the wind becomes strongest. Even without the skill of the pullers, the junks pass through gorgeous stretches with frightening speed and death defying efficiency.
When we face the impossible sometimes we row, sometimes we pull, sometimes we walk among the boulders, sometimes we choose the wind and sometime the wind chooses us. We've just got to know what to do and when to do what.
With skill and courage, there is no need for whips.