When I started this blog way back when, it was pretty straight forward in thematic approach. I was blogging about my buildup to my first marathon in Chicago 2009. I wrote endlessly about workouts, eating, preparations, and sprinkled in a bit of non-running vegan politics from time to time, but mainly stuck to task. Over the years, as my readership has grown (how bored are you people?) and my experiential resume has expanded, I’ve often struggled with writing on topic. This turned more and more into a nebulous personal blog, which I was ok with, and yet, I also found myself shying away from talking about other issues related to politics and personal musings, fearing readers would be like, “What is this gibberish…who cares…this is supposed to be about running or something.” I think I worried about diluting some topics while potentially offending those who came to my blog for specific reasons (veganism, running, cancer), only to be quite shocked when I started laying out a case against Capitalism, supporting radical direct action, or expressing my normal non-traditional views.
Well…I’m over that now.
For the past 6 months I’ve dedicated most of my online promotions to the successful fundraiser for Family Reach and I was glad to define my blog within those parameters as well. Now that it is finished, I’ve decided to expand my writings to the subjects I’ve detailed over the years, but also not to hold back about other topics I’m equally as passionate about. So yeah, I guess “run vegan” has now become something of a full on personal blog. I suppose I could have renamed it More Fire, to fall in line with all my other social media changes I’ve made to move away from being so confined in definitions…but…whatever, this is fine for the time being.
With all that said, the themes I’ll most likely write about most are the following:
I can’t quit you. I just can’t…I’ve tried. I mean, not even chemotherapy is going to stop me from running, so it’s going to be a subject I’ll always discuss in detail and if you’ve been coming here for my descriptions of epic runs, considerations of life lessons viewed through the running looking glass, and similar long-winded essays on speed and endurance, well, they’ll keep coming.
At this point, I’m not even sure what I’ll be detailing in my running posts. I’m currently in a state of running limbo, recovering from this past ultra run, and moving through the next two months leading up to my next surgery where I’ll be laid out yet again. I don’t know what will be defined about my running going forward, but that’s pretty exciting if you ask me. I’ve toyed with the idea of transitioning to “soul running” in the past year (I’ll have to explain…it’s not as new-age, hippy as it sounds), but I don’t know. I just know I’ve got another clean slate in front of me after the next surgery this October.
Speaking of surgery…hey, I still have cancer! In a way, I’ll probably always have cancer, whether it kills me or whether I live past it and into that expanse of life that will always be informed by this experience. That is unavoidable and I’ve come to terms with it. Although I don’t like to express the cancer identity, unless it’s a strategic move, as in a fundraising attempt, it is my reality and I will continue giving you a free, safe, at a distance, pass into this sometimes dark, dark world. This world is about to get really real and really dark again, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Without mincing words, veganism is the most important subject I can think to discuss today. More than running. More than Cancer. More than anything. In the past, I’ve found that I’ve discussed veganism in relation to my running, but going forward I more want to write about the ethical considerations of veganism, the moral imperative of animal liberation, and all concerns that are not related to absurd health claims and the vegan identity. I plan to really expand on a lot of the conversations Laura and I often have about animal issues, often in response to the many perspectives offered through social media, animal activism, and vegan culture in general. It will, admittedly, be critical, but with an eye towards constructive solutions towards a world where we create true respect for sentient beings and remove them from the confinement of our industrial civilization.
More often than not, if I use the term “liberation” it’s in relation to animals, but over the years it has increasingly encompassed the attempt to liberate human animals as well, namely from the many clutches of modern day living. I don’t claim to be a primitivist or wholesale anti-civilization anarchist, but I won’t deny affiliations with their world views either. I unreservedly define myself as an anarchist, not as an expression of identity, but because it is a term and perspective that most fully expresses my desires for a new way of organizing ourselves, away from the illusion of representative democracy, away from capitalist dictates, away from everything that keeps us reliant upon systems that have us compete for resources at the expense of an environmentally sustainable future. To ignore social liberation, merely because the problem seems insurmountable, is to live a ceaseless lie. All hypocrisies acknowledged, I’ll surely write various political essays that express my desires for total liberation, of animals, of humans, and against the systems of confinement which have created the need for liberation.
I’ve been told the one cohesive element of all my writings are about living, or how to live. I can’t argue with that observation, though it should be acknowledged that I’ve never sought to tell people how to live. Any consideration about a better life have been for myself, within my own context, and apply primarily to me. I’m thrilled to know others have found inspiration for themselves with my words, but that has not been my explicit intent. Not only is the responsibility to great, but the paternalistic nature of doing so makes my stomach turn. Then there is the idea of “inspiration” itself. I don’t belabor those that are inspired, nor do I deny the value of inspiration I receive from others, but I also despise the idea of “inspiration for the sake of inspiration.” I genuinely am uninterested if others are inspired in the most vague sense. I know many have made careers and fortunes by “being inspiring” or “inspiring others”, but to what end? I think of various amazing individuals who find themselves riding on the bank accounts of huge corporations who have hired them to be motivational speakers for their employees, the end results being more productive workers lining the pockets of those who need no further lining. If I am to inspire others, it is not for the benefit of their emotional well-being, but rather the liberation of all of us from the confines of industrial civilization. If I am to inspire, I want it to be going vegan, or liberating animals, or resisting patriarchy, or defying consumerism, or opting out from authoritarianism, or any genuine, measurable action that actually DOES something…rather than just making someone momentarily feel good. Enough on that though….I’ve obviously got a post to write there.
In all, this blog will be about life. It will be about a certain perspective on living fully, living passionately, and liberating oneself, but I only take responsibility for how it applies to myself and my context.
So, here I am, on the other side of the Because We Can fundraiser, with what feels like a pretty blank slate in front of me. I don’t know exactly how things are going to unfold, but I like that sense of wonder, that openness, that unwritten future. There are many ways in which I feel like I’m starting new, and this blog is just one of them.
Ultimately, I really like to write, and I hope to get back to more of my expressive, creative writing, along with all the subjects mentioned above. I’d say, “Don’t say I didn’t warn you”, in case you find yourself offended, but really, that sounds too apologetic. Let’s just leave it at that and get back to living.
Thanks for sticking around friends!