By starting the Ottawa Marathon three hours after all the other runners on Sunday, May 27, my goal was to draw attention to the fact that many people begin life at a disadvantage.
I’ve spoken before about how life at the back of the pack comes with many challenges and obstacles that lucky people like me never have to worry about. Sunday’s experience reinforced my perspective, but not in the way that I expected. Instead of running alone, I had terrific support. Instead of facing extra obstacles, I had extra help. Everywhere I went, people were kind and generous. My run didn’t end up being a suitable metaphor for the disadvantages that arise from systemic bias and inequality because it was me, with all of my good fortune, who was doing it.
Ultimately, I’m so lucky that even when I’m trying to simulate misfortune, the world turns it into a wonderful experience for me. I can’t have a lonely, tough run even when I explicitly set out to do so. As a result, I’m both grateful for all the support and even more determined to address inequity and build a world in which everyone gets the same opportunities.
Please watch my TEDx Talk: Running, luck and the ovarian lottery.
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