No matter what we do, we always look up to certain people and get inspired by them. For me, one of them has always been my older brother Christophe. He is 3 years older than me.
From an early age, he inspired me. I remember when we were teenagers, he spent so much time at his desk studying. His bedroom was across the hallway and he usually kept his door open. From my room, I saw his desk and each time I checked his room he was seated studying, early in the morning, late in the evening and during the weekend. I was one of those kids who perfected daydreaming and was always impressed by his focus and dedication.
Later on, when he started running marathons and then ultra runs, he had the same approach; focused and dedicated to his training regiment. He went through so many injuries (snapped his Achilles’ tendons…) that would have stopped anybody else from running but for him it was never an option.
His latest run was an extreme passage he did a few years ago under different conditions. This year, he had plans to enter the official run called the Trans Pyrenea; a run of 600 miles with more than 180,000 feet of climbing to be completed in no more than 18 days. The runners have to carry a backpack with some survival gears, fluid and nutrition. His plan was to run about 18 hours a day!
Before the race started, it got canceled. But that didn’t stop Christophe. He inlisted his wife, Jane to drive a RV and meet him at different points along the way.
After a few days, he was making good progress, sticking to his running schedule and right on time to complete the race in 18 days. At day 12, he fell and landed on his chest. A doctor checked him and found he fractured a rib…he also found some bad infections on his feet. I know the infections wouldn’t have stopped Christophe from running, but the fracture did.
Swimming for 8 hours per day is a walk in the park compared to what he has gone through, plus I don’t have to worry about hurting myself if I fall.
Thank you, my brother, for inspiring me and letting your son Paul be part of my supporting team at sea!