Pays au dela

"As to the natural parts I have, of which this is the essay, I find them to bow under the burden; my fancy and judgment do but grope in the dark, tripping and stumbling [wobbling] in the way, and when I have gone as far as I can, I am in no degree satisfied; I discover still a new and greater extent of land before me, with a troubled and imperfect sight and wrapped up in clouds, that I am not able to penetrate." Montaigne-"On the Education of Children"

My domain name, "Pais au dela," is the original French translated here as "extent of land before me." My goal for this page will be to explore, in an ambling way at times, the great land before me hoping to find clarity as I advance. I will focus centrally though not exclusively on mental health issues in my stumbling march forward.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Race for Your Mind Deux: Finish Line and New Beginnings

You did it. I did it. We did it.

I'm indifferent to race medals unless they have Willie Nelson on them.

I have a confession to make. When I set up my marathon fundraiser page several months back I didn’t think I would reach my goal of raising $1500 for the Huntsville affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI Huntsville). This is the second time I have done a running fundraiser. The first—when I ran the Rocket City Marathon in December 2012—brought in just under $700. When I launched the second round for this year’s Austin Marathon that I ran on February 16th, I set a publicly high bar while secretly hoping the higher goal would bring in $1000. You all showed me. And I thank you with most sincere gratitude for your powerful show of generosity. The morning after my race, an anonymous donor made a $35 gift to push me to the goal I didn’t think I’d reach. Since race weekend, a few more donations have come in and the total is currently at $1776.

Hitting the number that I didn’t expect to reach felt great, but reaching that goal takes on a much fuller meaning when I stop for a moment to think about what it really means. Teaching and taking NAMI's Family-to-Family were life altering experiences following some of my lowest moments. The course, designed by Dr. Joyce Burland, gave me grounding insight into my own crash into depression and the struggles of my family members. I am well today, in large part because of the NAMI members and volunteers who brought me into the loop. And I know looking forward that soon NAMI newcomers will find the same crucial support and guidance thanks to the compassion you have expressed in your giving. That push forward to keep the cycle of NAMI support ongoing and expanding in North Alabama is what matters most about my run. By providing that collective boost, you enriched the solitary marathon experience with a profound sense of connection. Thank you.

Never to late to contribute to a good cause.