Sébastien Jacques' 5000 km walk
I met Sébastien when he was a high-performance tennis player. Despite several sprained ankles, he still remained a top athlete. Lately, I had the chance to meet him again in Québec as he was enjoying a well-deserved rest and treating a few injuries following his first 400 km. That’s when he decided to share his inspiring story with The Running Clinic.
Here it is:
My name is Sébastien Jacques and I was born in 1988. I have been very active from a young age and always had the desire to push myself, get outside my comfort zone and do the best I could in everything I did. With determination and perseverance, I won two national championships as a tennis player in the juniors. In 2007, I then went to Virginia Tech on an athletic scholarship. During my fourth and final year in school, I started experiencing health issues and my life took a different turn. The next four years were spent in hospitals trying to figure out what was happening to my body. By 2014, I was barely able to walk 15 minutes a day, I had lost 30 pounds and the doctors had run out of solutions; they told me I had to learn to live this way. I knew I had more to live for and more to give. This wasn’t how I was going to spend the rest of my life.
I eventually found a neurosurgeon willing to remove a tumor lodged in the center of my brain. I had surgery on February 12, 2015. Three months following surgery, I was already back to my normal self and living life to the fullest.
On April 1st, I started an amazing adventure. I will be walking almost a marathon a day, for 7 months, across Québec and America, to share my story and message of hope in schools and through social media.
The first phase, which was 400 km across Québec, is now over. I am now about to walk across America starting from Virginia Beach through Virginia Tech, where my health issues started, to finish in Santa Monica, California, where I am eager to shake hands with the neurosurgeon who gave me a second chance at life. I will then be back in Québec to finish the last 400 km of this 5,400 km journey.
I am walking because I want everyone to realize that not only can we overcome any obstacle in life, but we can also accomplish amazing things. Every day is an opportunity to become a better person and to strive for greatness. We must realize that we don’t always choose what life throws at us, but we can choose how we react to those situations. I will be walking eight hours a day for seven months to demonstrate that we must keep moving forward when we think we’ve reached our limit; it’s only then that we discover our full potential. Although this 5,000 km walk will put my physical and mental abilities to the test, there is only one way to face any obstacle or to accomplish big things in life: to believe in yourself, keep smiling and take it one day at a time – or for that matter, one step at a time.
Follow me on my journey!