profile image

Jean-Paul Bedard

Writer ~ Speaker ~ Athlete

Jean-Paul Bedard lives with his wife in Toronto, where he is a writer and speaker. In addition to being a high profile endurance athlete, Jean-Paul is an advocate helping other survivors of child sexual abuse find their "voice". You can follow his journey at breathethroughthis.com.
mangostock

Leave a Gentle Footprint in Your Community

I believe we all just want to leave a gentle footprint on this earth, and for me, that means striving to go to bed each night feeling I've made a difference, and hopefully left things better than the way I found them. Am I able to say that I meet that challenge each day -- definitely, "no." Life has a way of getting in the way, and as is most often the case, I'm the one who's in my own way.
05/20/2015 05:26 EDT
CP

Omar Khadr's Release Can Offer an Important Lesson to Us All

After being imprisoned for over a decade, Omar Khadr is now free on bail. In his first public appearance and media scrum, we witnessed not a mean-spirited radicalized militant, but rather, an articulate humbled young man, and in his own words, someone eager to "prove to [Canadians] that I'm more than what they thought of me."
05/10/2015 07:45 EDT

It's Never Too Late to Acquire "Grit"

Is there a blueprint for "cultivating grit," and are there steps you can take right now to build it within your life? These are questions that come up a lot whenever I give a talk on overcoming adversity, so I thought I would share a few of my strategies with you.
03/17/2015 06:29 EDT
Shutterstock

If It Doesn't Bring You Joy, Let It Go

I sat across from my therapist as she said: "So, in your own words, can you tell me what it feels like? "Well... have you ever run across a grassy field in your bare feet, the unencumbered freedom of...
03/03/2015 12:28 EST
shutterstock

You Might As Well Dance

As a writer and a long distance runner, I spend a lot of my day in Starbucks locations across the city, and for years I've had a massive pet peeve about their condiment stations. Anyone who has ever n...
02/26/2015 04:41 EST
Polka Dot Images via Getty Images

Why Running Will Change Your Life

I believe that deep inside, all of us have something that eats away at us, something that just doesn't sit right. Maybe it's some trauma from your past, or hurtful words that still resonate, or even some "dis" ease you are currently living with. For me, it was coming to terms with sexual abuse in my childhood.
02/24/2015 05:23 EST
Shutterstock

Three Things

It was the great Carl Sagan who said: "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." And let's not forget in that universe, you and I are nothing more than spec...
02/10/2015 11:37 EST
Robert Daly via Getty Images

Learning to Quiet My Ego

Even though I've been clean and sober now for almost 18 years, without a doubt, I continue to move through life with the mind of an addict. For me, learning how to "soften into things" means learning how to quiet my ego, the presence that convinces me that in order to build myself up, I need to tear someone else down.
02/03/2015 04:24 EST
Stanislaw Pytel via Getty Images

How Running Helped Me Overcome Addiction

If I look at a snapshot of my life 18 years ago, I see a young man ravaged by a spiraling alcohol and drug addiction, a man fractured in spirit desperate to claw his way out of the darkest hell of a deep depression. Shortly after entering a treatment program to deal with my addiction issues, I took my first tentative steps into the world of running. Before I knew it, I had found my "people." I had stumbled upon my "tribe."
01/29/2015 08:22 EST
HuffPost.ca

#BeenRapedNeverReported Should Be About Solutions, Not Gender

I feel guilty in some weird way for entering into this debate that has been eye-opening for so many people, as it sheds light on how many female victims of sexual assault are among us. As a man, and as a survivor of rape myself, I worry that adding my voice to this might in some way usurp or direct the conversation away from highlighting the abuse of women in our society. But part of me thinks that this shouldn't be a debate about men or women, but rather, it should be about creating a culture in which stepping forward and disclosing sexual assault becomes a much more supportive and empowering experience.
11/07/2014 08:31 EST
THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Rob Ford Story Could Still Have a Happy Ending

The sad irony of most addictions is the addict participates in this behaviour as a means to connect with others, but the result is always a distancing from others. This is what we are witnessing now with Mayor Ford -- as he slips further into his self-destructive addictive behaviour, he pushes even those fiercely loyal to him further away. For me, the pathway to my addiction was set in motion by the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. Only time will tell what demon lies at the heart of Rob Ford's behaviour.
05/02/2014 05:57 EDT
Jason Todd via Getty Images

I'm Not Gay But I'd Like To Have An Intimate Relationship With A Man

For me, as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse in which the perpetrators were male, the issue is further complicated. I've struggled with revealing my thoughts and emotions to other men, and when I do, it's generally camouflaged by using jokes. Women typically build relationships based on social connectivity while men build them based on shared activity or goal orientation.
03/28/2014 06:19 EDT
Marco Maccarini via Getty Images

Sometimes Doing Nothing Is Doing Everything

I recognized that I was like a mouse spinning on a wheel -- I was speeding through my day, but not really getting anywhere. I needed to cultivate the awareness to bring my attention back to what was most important. I thought I would share with you my strategies for slowing down the the runaway train that often is my life.
03/03/2014 12:16 EST
Getty

When to Let Go of a Relationship

When it comes to letting go of relationships, certain themes always rise to the surface. Does it have to be all or nothing? So, how do you determine whether or not it's time to let someone go? Here is a list of five things I keep in mind before making that decision.
02/28/2014 08:29 EST
Chase Jarvis via Getty Images

How Running Helped Me Deal With Sexual Abuse

Three weeks before last year's Boston marathon, I had reached another crux moment in my life. A secret that I had buried deep inside -- an overwhelming feeling of shame that had inevitably been an underlying factor in my life-long battles with addiction and depression, had finally come to the surface and needed to be set free. I somehow mustered the inner strength to do what I thought I would never do -- I disclosed to my family and friends that I was a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. The moment those words came out, I started get that "voice" back that had been taken away from me at such a young age.
02/03/2014 12:45 EST