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running for noah

running for noah
Birth

Short of breath. Short of breath, despite all the love.

A few days after you came into this world, I learn that you have Down’s syndrome.

It is as if the doctor was speaking another language. It cannot be happening to us. I try to rationalize it all, to tell myself that this nightmare will soon be over. That soon, your mother will give you life again and that this chromosome will somehow disappear. I am deeply aggrieved, yet I remain strong, for you and for my love whose heart is in shambles.
Year one / DAY 1

Walking, music in my ears to channel my energy.

Your first year was somewhat extraordinary. Becoming a parent surely is one of the most complex yet beautiful adventures one could embark upon. It has been an exhausting bout of juggling between medical appointments, work, and the generalized uncertainties on the state of your health. I am doing my best to remain strong, but I swear little guy, it has not always been easy. To be very honest, from my twenty-six years of experience, this adventure has been quite arduous.
Year two / DAY 2

Sometimes you have to start by running a few kilometers from time to time, to start breathing again.

Trying to be a good father was at the same time trying to be a specialist in everything; physiotherapy, ergotherapy, just to be able to support you better. Life can be chaotic, but we are starting to understand that this little human is now in our lives to show us a new path. A new path that is sometimes muddier, with rocks and hills, but also, at the same time, radiant and true. This path makes me want to start running, short distances at first, 5-10k. One day at a time.
Year three / DAY 3

Running, because I yearn it. Only by lacing my running shoes, I feel my anxiety dissolving.

I feel clarity. Every question is somehow rendered lighter. Noah is happy and we are relieved to observe that he is progressing well; that he isn’t having health issues. Despite frequent pneumonias in the first years, he sees and hears well, and he has been walking for a few months now. This might appear trivial, but when the ability to walk is not a certainty, I can guarantee you that when it happens, it is cause for celebration. To see him walk, one foot in front of the other, it motivates me to challenge myself even more.
Year four / DAY 4

A passion for running.

Running has been a necessity to my well-being for a few years now. I humbly find myself to be quite good at it, and I have been wanting to create, with my girlfriend, a #courirpournoah (#runfornoah) that would allow us to raise funds for those who live with a mental disability. I have been participating in several races over the last few months; Bromont Ultra, Harricana and CourirpourNoah. This last one gave me a deep surge in euphoria. The first year, I ran for 21h consecutively, and the second year, I ran 250k over 5 days in the mountains. I am very proud of myself, or rather, of us and of what we have created out of love for our son.
Year five / DAY 5

Running for Noah, and for myself.

I think that without my cherished son, I would never have found the strength to start running, especially since I was living a mostly sedentary life. Five years after his birth, running has become a lifestyle. I have a become an ultra-trail runner, and I am proud of it. Life can sometimes be absurd, especially when I think of the moment of his birth when I thought that a part of me wanted to just switch off, and that now, with him, my life is richer and so much more colourful. Our little victories are grandiose, and they push us to progress together. Thank you Noah. Thanks to you, I found my passion for running mountains.
I love you,
Dad
about the author
marc-antoine forand

30 years old, father of two, ultra runner for 4 years

Before : a double long espresso
After : an IPA and a vegan pizza

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