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Under sudden fatigue

En vertu d’une fatigue soudaine

Instead of the classic Hello, how are you? I often approach my entourage made up of runners, cyclists and other athletes, with the following formula:

In shape?

This is usually followed by an answer ranging from not so much to yes, very much. But whatever the answer, the implication is always the same: if the form is bad, it is only temporary, it is a question of giving it the time necessary for a return to normal.

Normal here is to be active, to run, ride, swim, move. In this group of individuals and more broadly in the population, sport is health, a vector of happiness, encouraged by a good number of Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie and other public campaigns on healthy lifestyle habits. And let me be clear, the idea here is not to call into question the benefits of sport. I have seen more than one transformation brought about by the latter so that there remains no doubt in my mind about it.

Flashback to a discussion with a colleague, strong runner, marathon under 2h30, big weekly volume, the whole story. He has been running since he was very young and has defined himself as a person through his practice. He even made it his profession, he produces racing clothing. He informed me that day that he had not run for more than two months due to an injury that he was unable to heal, that in the process, he had moved away from his group of friends, lost his bearings and found himself isolated.


Discomfort live on Zoom, I would like to encourage it but nothing that does not sound totally useless comes to me. He explains to me that he turned to his family, he lives with his wife and their young daughter, that the loss caused by his break is significant, that not a day goes by without him thinking about it.
Exit friends, events, the rush of endorphins. Gone is the anticipation of meeting up with your gang on Sunday morning for a friendly outing and a cortado oat milk. No more sometimes futile but always heated discussions around the carbon plate of the new racer which promises the best energy return.

We can philosophize by saying that there are worse things, and there are worse things, it's true. Everything is always relative but when you hit yourself on the thumb with a hammer, you don't care about your neighbor's cancer. Way to say that for him, this stop is brutal.

The call ends but the idea of ​​being deprived of sport stays with me for several days, even a few weeks. In his case, running, or rather the lack of it, became the trap.

By taking a step back, we come to question the wisdom of letting our pleasure in life rest on a single, external thing, over which it is impossible to have much control.

The race for the runner, the pet for the homebody, the fix for the junkie. All perfect smokescreens so the ambient noise never stops. Sport to avoid spending time alone, in silence with questions that we do not always dare to ask ourselves, as a remedy for the spleen of the times.

I would like to tell you that there is an epiphany at the end of this reflection but I'm afraid not. At most, an awareness which leads us to consider excesses, in sport as in everything else, with a little more scruple.

Socially accepted, encouraged sport. Maybe that's the real trap.

Maybe not either, I'll let you see.