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.
I hate to admit it, but it has always been there in the background, like the dull drone of a refrigerator's compressor, recognizable
I'm here to tell you that I'm not playing along. If my talking openly about being vulnerable makes you feel uncomfortable, then tough shit.
07/11/2017 13:45 EDT
Growing old gracefully is not just a matter of coasting into the sunset - it's constantly treading water. Elite runner and writer Jean-Paul Bedard shares how his philosophy of movement, gratitude and forgiveness helps him to stay young at heart and mind despite a difficult past.
05/11/2017 12:43 EDT
I used to live in the moment, and that moment was usually an all-consuming desire not to just escape, but to annihilate -- to numb everything inside of me. I was suicidal and wanted nothing more than oblivion. I can remember the morning I walked out of that hospital like it was yesterday, but in fact, it was 7,328 days ago, and I've been clean and sober ever since.
04/12/2017 11:56 EDT
Resilience has very little to do with surviving, and everything to do with awakening into where you are at this very moment. When we distance ourselves from, or anaesthetize ourselves against trauma and loss, we inadvertently diminish the potential breadth and beauty of our life.
02/02/2017 10:25 EST
I am an elite athlete, and I'm known for running insanely long distances, and for brushing up against the limits of human
01/25/2017 05:17 EST
Even though I currently find myself on the other side of depression, I am ever so aware of how thin that veil is between me and fragile mental health. It's times like these, when I'm feeling my strongest, that I realize how important it is to bring depression to the fore.
01/12/2017 04:57 EST
We often think of resilience as a manifestation of the human spirit's ability to survive the unfathomable -- those grand disasters and tragedies that populate news headlines and our social media feeds. It's as though we don't believe resilience could possible be at play in the midst of our own "mundane" life.
01/10/2017 12:20 EST
Like many people around the world, I too, felt the shock waves of the election and Donald Trump being elected as the 45th President of the United States. Many of us are in disbelief that someone so brash and caustic is set to become the leader of the most powerful country on the planet. Yet, here I sit at my computer feeling grateful... Grateful that I'm an addict in recovery.
11/09/2016 11:40 EST
Is there anything more tragic than going through life "unseen," feeling crushingly alone despite being in community? That's exactly what living with the stigma of compromised mental health feels like.
09/27/2016 02:30 EDT
A characteristic of resilience is having an ability to make decisions without having all the answers figured out first. I believe this comes from a faith that no matter how something works out, you will either have success or you will learn something important about yourself.
09/13/2016 05:36 EDT
A few years ago, I disclosed to my wife that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse -- a secret I thought I would harbor in my soul until the day I died. What is someone to do when the person they so dearly love shares such searing pain with them?
09/02/2016 09:51 EDT
I think it's safe to say that as a society, we are rather risk-averse. We are eager to walk a smoother path, and are naturally drawn to life hacks, shortcuts and workarounds. But are we doing ourselves, and more importantly our children, a disservice by sidestepping the lessons of adversity?
08/23/2016 01:27 EDT
Have you ever wondered what separates those rare individuals who are able to step forward after trauma and adversity from those of us who are stunted, derailed, or in some way consumed by similar life circumstances or events? As a society, we tend to gravitate to the "bounce back" narrative so often espoused in the media, and one that is particularly true of the stories most commonly shared on social media.
08/11/2016 05:35 EDT
If you drop me, I bounce. In fact, as crazy as that sounds, for much of my life it certainly felt like that was true. As is the case with far too many children around the world, I grew up in a violent home and it was within this violence that a nascent spirit of resilience began to germinate.
07/12/2016 06:10 EDT
As an elite athlete, I'm hyper attuned to my body and what it's trying to tell me. One of the privileges of being a high-profile athlete is that I have the opportunity to speak to many organizations, school groups, and fitness classes. I'm often asked what motivates me to sacrifice so much in order to train at the level I do.
06/08/2016 11:19 EDT
I thought living in the frenetic hustle of downtown would make me less patient and desensitized -- the truth is since moving down here, I've become more empathetic and aware of the marginalized population and my role in that marginalization.
05/31/2016 10:15 EDT
As our muscles respond to stress by becoming at first strained and later stronger, so too do we build up our tolerance for withstanding adversity by allowing it space in our life. Courage rises to the fore when we adopt a new mindset, a new lens from which we approach our life.
04/20/2016 11:33 EDT
I don't consider myself "old," but then again, I'm not sure if one ever does. Yes, I have more aches and pains than I used to have, and my scars and bruises may fade, but they never really completely go away anymore.
04/07/2016 04:30 EDT
Looking back on my childhood through the eyes of wisdom and years, I think the most heart wrenching part of it all is how invisible I felt as a child and how easy it was for my mind to so subtly transform pain into shame. How does a child even begin to process such adult emotions?
04/01/2016 10:52 EDT
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