To surpass oneself despite a hard blow of fate!
When an unfortunate event occurs, we have three choices: let it define our life, let it destroy us, or use it to get stronger. On October 28, 2022, it was four years since I had my road accident. Four years of this life experience strewn with a lot of tears and incomprehension, through joys and sorrows, and me not forgetting all the anger that inhabited me at several times. In this path of acceptance, the acceptance of this new version of myself that was imposed on me—of all these physical changes despite myself—today, I am thanking life for this.
Everything is perfect like this. One step at a time!
I completed the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon on October 16th. I did it in 2 hours and 33 minutes, and I’m very proud of it. An improvement of 40 minutes exactly with the one I had done in Montreal 3 weeks before.
It was right after the neurologists told me that I was suffering from neuropathic muscle degeneration, that I replied, “Will I be able to complete a marathon?”
And immediately his response was: “Mr. Richard, your legs will never withstand a marathon.”
They tried to classify me as being disabled—the loss of autonomy, the this, the that. I don’t like being told that I can no longer do things. When the neurologists told me about this degenerative neuropathic condition of the muscles, I decided to give full power to my mind.
Stronger than the physical, it is the mental.
And now I’m going to prove it. I am now giving myself the challenge of the full marathon next September in Montreal, for the Grand Montreal Marathon in 2023—my first 42.2km marathon.
Until then, physical and mental preparation is in progress. I have my plan worked out: starting in April 2023, it’s completing a half marathon and 10k race around Canada every month until September as training for my lifetime full marathon.
The marathon tour of Canada, this is my challenge: one step at a time.
I am aware that my story has the power to inspire people, and it is “ONE STEP AT A TIME” that I will continue to do so. To do good, and to inspire people to never give up is the essence of everything for me. It’s not big enough if it doesn’t scare you. If it makes you nervous, it’s probably worth it.
It was when they said to me: “Mr Richard, your legs will never support a marathon.” That I had answered them: one day I will show you a photo of me at the marathon finish line.
This crazy promise kept me alive for the next three and a half years.
It was especially out of the question that I would be deprived of anything, especially not after having had this condition imposed on me. It was last September on the 25 at the great Beneva marathon in Montreal that I not only achieved this wonderful and great challenge of completing a half marathon, but I also finished it in a “semblance” of jogging for the few last meters before the finish line.
A feat in either case with my situation.
A feat without waiting for another, because three weeks later, I was going to run the first 6K of the Toronto half marathon and I was also going to finish the last 2k by running. The strength of the mind has really been harnessed here.
I have the deep conviction that we are the main reason for our own limitations.
We all have the power to reach the greatest heights. My life took an unexpected turn. I was involved in a road accident which left me with serious consequences, completely changing my way of life and greatly impacting my mobility. It was after an exaggerated amount of tests and examinations that it was later agreed that the accident had awakened a dormant degenerative neuropathic condition in me that I have now cohabited with for four years. My legs are now more unstable and I have to deal with several obstacles and inconveniences every day, but my mental (and physical) strength and my proud resilience guide me and help me see clearly on a daily basis.
Through these half-marathons and this wonderful journey that is mine, I want to inspire you too to overcome obstacles and never give up. Everything is perfect like this, one step at a time, is really my life mission that I want to continue to convey through my conferences and my books.
I dare to hope that my story will be able to inspire many of you, and whatever happens, always tell yourself that everything is perfect this way, and that with one step at a time, you will get yourself there:
To the finish line!