• Araby

    Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.

         Araby by James Joyce, 1914

    I am a hero for running this race. I am important because I am doing something important. I am making a difference that someone else isn't. I am running faster than he is. I am more fit than she is. I am an ultra-marathoner and better than other runners. I am a special person. I am living a deeper life. I am unique. 

         My brain by me, 2017

    Yesterday I went for a training run on the trails near my house, and was struck by how empty the park was. No one to compete against on the trail. No one to see me running with my cool shoes and awesome shirt. No one to stretch in front of after all my hard work. And no one I could say "watch me!" to in hopes of feeling validation. It was me, the woods, and some strenuous labor that no one knew about or cared about. And it was great.

    The "liturgy of egoism" in my head tells me that I have to be better than someone else, and that the most important part of being better is seeming to be better. Who can I tell about my big race? How can I hint that I'm running hard (even when I'm not) in hopes of being the center of attention?

    The moment I was alone in the woods, the quote above from Araby clicked into my head. I am a creature driven and derided by vanity, selfish and egotistical, seeking to bend the world to be about me. And, indeed, my eyes did burn with anguish and anger. I took a few miles to berate myself, walk through the life creed I devised a few years ago line by line, and take the lesson to heart.

    This race is about one thing -- helping the men and women who struggle far harder than I do every day and don't have a platform to share it or even the desire to publicize their efforts. The money and the awareness we raise is critical to making their lives better, and the lives of those around them. The very reason they deserve this assistance so much is because they aren't like me.

    So time to dig deep and Fight Harder. I'm going to redouble my efforts to gather donations and support, and I hope you'll help me by sharing this site far and wide. Not for me, but for all the people GallantFew can help with your assistance.

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