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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.
My Secret To Aging Gracefully Is Never To Grow Old In The First

My Secret To Aging Gracefully Is Never To Grow Old In The First Place

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
What 20 Years Of Sobriety Have Taught

What 20 Years Of Sobriety Have Taught Me

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
Learning To Live With The Presence Of

Learning To Live With The Presence Of Absence

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
Choosing To Move

Choosing To Move Forward

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
Why We All Need To Talk About Mental

Why We All Need To Talk About Mental Illness

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
Why Do We See Resilience In Others And Not In

Why Do We See Resilience In Others And Not In Ourselves?

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
Why I Choose To Be Grateful The Morning After The U.S.

Why I Choose To Be Grateful The Morning After The U.S. Election

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
Beyond The Stigma Of Mental Illness Lies The Real

Beyond The Stigma Of Mental Illness Lies The Real Us

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
Embracing The Uncertainty Of Life Leads To

Embracing The Uncertainty Of Life Leads To Resilience

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
Resilience Is Found In 'The

Resilience Is Found In 'The Return'

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
4 Ways You Can Start Living With Resilience

4 Ways You Can Start Living With Resilience Now

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
Why Are Some People More Resilient Than

Why Are Some People More Resilient Than Others?

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
Highly Resilient People Do More Than Just Bounce

Highly Resilient People Do More Than Just Bounce Back

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
Are You Sabotaging Your Own Fitness

Are You Sabotaging Your Own Fitness Regimen?

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
What It Is Really Like Living In Toronto's Downtown

What It Is Really Like Living In Toronto's Downtown Core

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
Courage Is A Deeply Rooted Faith In Our Human

Courage Is A Deeply Rooted Faith In Our Human Connection

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
My Body Turned 50 But I'm Still A Kid At

My Body Turned 50 But I'm Still A Kid At Heart

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
Being There For Our Children After Sexual

Being There For Our Children After Sexual Abuse

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