Gus Luong, aka Vegan Ultrarunner Gus Gus has raised thousands of dollars to benefit GLIDE programs by collecting donations from friends and supporters as he heroically prepares for and completes epic-length runs.
It’s interesting how following a path can lead you to many opportunities and experiences both good and bad.
For me, it all started with wanting to get healthier. I wasn’t satisfied with myself or my lack of energy, and I was generally feeling depressed and anxious on a daily basis. Knowing that eating right and exercising were the only ways to really turn my life around, I decided to challenge myself to change for the better.
I was introduced to reading books from amazing athletes like Scott Jurek, Brendan Brazier and Rich Roll. They advocated the elimination of all forms of animal products from my diet in order to reduce inflammation build-up in my body. I also started to run more and more. What really got me into running was finishing the book Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. That book set me off, and soon I was hooked on running. I ran in the rain, in the fog, in the dark, in the heat and in the cold. I ran on the road, but I really fell in love with the trails.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt anxious in social situations. As an effort to try to relieve my anxiety naturally, I started to practice meditating in the mornings for thirty minutes. Following a meditation session one day, I came to the realization that if I was going to run such a difficult distance, it would be a great idea to raise awareness for a cause that I felt passionate about. Suffering is everywhere and happens every second of every day, and I can’t do enough to reduce this suffering on my own. I needed to raise awareness for causes that can make an impact on my community. One day I came across GLIDE and was immediately drawn to its mission. Once I reached out to staff members, visited the main building at 330 Ellis Street and volunteered in the Daily Free Meals program, I was even more determined to raise awareness and money for this beacon of hope. Now, I run for GLIDE.
More than three years after deciding to make some big changes in my life, I’m proud to live and promote a vegan lifestyle and couldn’t be happier, healthier or more at peace with myself. Food is now more important to me than ever, so I guess I’m an uber foodie. And now that I’m happier and more content, I’m more able to help others, by running for GLIDE.