Sunday, September 26, 2010

Défi aérien du Camp Fortune

Le 17 septembre, j'ai complété le Défi aérien du Camp Fortune. Ouf! Que d'émotions. Le parcours consiste en une série de défis et de tyroliennes, à relever à plusieurs mètres du sol, attachés par un harnais. Je n'étais pas des plus enthousiastes à relever ce défi, mais étant de nature participative, je me suis dis que j'essaierais.

Je croyais avoir peur des hauteurs, mais en réalité, je n'ai pas vraiment eu de difficulté avec l'aspect "hauteurs" de la chose. C'est plutôt les montées dans les échelles qui me rendaient vraiment anxieuses, mais je ne comprends pas trop pourquoi. Certains obstacles étaient plutôt faciles et demandaient seulement un peu de concentration alors que d'autres obstacles étaient vraiment difficiles et demandaient un très bon sens de l'équilibre et beaucoup de courage.

J'ai été surprise par mon habileté à faire confiance à mon équipement. Quand on faisait les tyroliennes, on devait se lancer dans le vide et croire que notre équipement nous protégerait des chutes. Ça demandait un laisser-aller assez fort, mais le jeu en valait la chandelle parce que c'était vraiment amusant!

Après l'aventure, qui a duré environ 2 heures, j'ai été prise d'une sorte d'état de choc parce que j'avais vraiment repoussé mes limites mentales pendant l'activité. J'en ai eu pour plus de 24 heures à avoir des nausées, une grande fatigue et une agitation qui ne m'est pas habituelle. C'est probablement l'adrénaline qui quittait tranquillement mon corps...

Je referais le défi, mais j'aimerais mieux attendre l'année prochaine, quand j'aurai oublié à quel point j'ai eu peur!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

JF's First Marathon

On September 5th, JF participated in the Montreal Marathon. This first marathon has been years in the making because JF got injured a few weeks before each of his two previous attempts. The saying says third time's a charm and after hours of training, JF got to the start line of his first marathon. It was an almost perfect day to run a marathon: the temperature was about 18 degrees, with a mix of sun and clouds. However, the wind was cold and strong, and it made the race challenging on a few occasions.

JF was running with his friend Éric and I was cheering with Éric's wife, Karine, and their 4 year-old son. The race started at 8:40 in the morning. Karine and I planned to cheer them on at the 5K point, on Saint-Hélène Island. When they passed by us, they looked strong and happy.

We then took the subway back to Old Montreal, where we waited a long time for them around the 18K mark. Once again, they ran by us with bright smiles and they looked strong.

We then walked to the corner of Ste-Catherine and Berri (25K mark) and cheered the Full and Half marathoners on, while we waited for JF and Éric. Sonia saw us and we cheered for her: she looked good! I got very emotional at some point, seeing all those people suffering in front of us. Some looked better than others and you could not help but feel a little bit of their pain.

When Éric and JF finally made it to where we were, they didn't look so good. Éric looked like he was suffering a bit, but JF looked like hell. He ran towards me and told me 'this is so tough', but I didn't know if he needed a word of encouragement, or a hug, or just to tell me how he was feeling so I just stood there, feeling powerless at helping him. I got very worried and I wondered if he would be OK. All sorts of things were going through my head as we took the subway from Berri-UQAM to Rosemont. I was so worried!

We saw Sonia again at Rosemont and she seemed to be having a good time with her Significant Other. She was all smiles!

When JF and Éric passed us at the 31K mark, they both seemed to be in better spirits. They seemed to be in pain physically, but I knew the dark clouds hovering over their head was gone and that they were going to finish. What a relief! I was so scared of not seeing them at Rosemont, that JF would call it a day and take the subway back home with me, or that he would have been taken to a hospital. Having no idea what happened between 17K and 25K, every worst-case scenario going through my head seemed likely.

I was also starting to feel achy and tired from all this running around and cheering. By 31K, my ankles were on fire and my throat was really sore. I could have lied down to rest for a little while, but there was no time to be lost and as soon as we saw Éric and JF at 31K, we ran like mad women to the subway. We were hoping to make it to Pie-IX at the 37K mark before them, but we had to take 2 different subway lines and time was tight. We were lucky that we catched the 2nd subway as soon as we got to the station. We ran up the Pie IX hill, me pushing the stroller with the kid in it and my friend trying to call her in-laws and find our friends who had come to join us at this point. We made it to the corner of Pie IX and Rachel a few minutes before Éric and JF. When we saw them, JF was definitely looking better but you could tell Éric was digging deep to finish.

We started walking towards our final cheering point at the Olympic Stadium. We stopped on the side of the course at the Marathon Door, where all the runners were coming into the Stadium for their final kick. It was a very emotional place: some runners looked ecstatic, others were in tears, in shock, in pain. I cheered my loudest at this point and saw Sonia's fiancé run by. I was a bit worried about Sonia but thought she must have made it in faster than L.-A. (turned out I was wrong, she crossed the finish line 10 minutes after L.-A.). When I finally saw JF, he was running in front of Éric and he looked like he was very, very angry. When he saw me, he ran towards me, pumped his fist in the air and said "I %?%$?)_* got it done!" This is where I started crying. All this work, all these years, the difficult race he seemed to have had - and there he was, a few meters from the finish line. I was so proud of him for being so tough. I was so happy he got his happy ending. Éric crossed the finish line 1 second ahead of JF and then we all celebrated.

A few weeks after the race, I'm still in awe at JF's accomplishment. It took a lot of mental strenght, determination and courage to get through the training and then the race. What an achievement! Now that I have seen all it takes to finish a marathon, I honestly don't think I have it. I'm OK with that and I'm glad I could live this experience vicariously through JF.