Inspirational Runner: Tommy Trudel
Living with autism sure isn't easy. Every day, you need to deal with people's judgement and you can barely have any kind of social life.
A Few hours after I was born, I suffered from my first seizures. I spent over five years of my childhood travelling between home and the hospital. Although I met many neurologists and psychologists during those years, I never had a clear diagnosis of my situation before. When they finally found out what was wrong, I needed to go through a brain surgery to get rid of the seizures and reduce my medication.
From that point, doctors were worried that I wouldn't be able to attend a regular school or live a normal life. Despite this, my parents kept believing in me and registered me in a regular elementary school.
After I successfully completed elementary school, my parents then decided to put me in a linguistic program for my high school, which is harder than regular classes!
Year after year, I was one of the best students of my group and graduated in 2011 with an overall average of 88%. I also won three prizes out of four nominations during those years.
In 2012 I chose to study accountancy but it didn't fit well to my personality. After a hard year trying to turn my life in the right direction, I decided to make 2014 my “big year of change”. I had a job in a grocery store in my hometown, but then I started working in three other ones at the same time for three months. I had 14-hour working days and also worked 21 consecutive days. Then, in March, I travelled alone in Kenya for a volunteering trip for three weeks.
It was my first time leaving America and I booked this trip only two weeks prior to my departure.
A month after I came back from this life changing experience, I got accepted in the only iron working school in Quebec and I ran my first ever half marathon in Montreal few days after. It was spring and I didn't practice much during winter because of a knee problem.
Then, I ran my first full marathon last September - also in Montreal. It was the most exciting and difficult experience of my life, even though I had been training for the whole summer. I still have goosebumps when I think about the people cheering during the last two kilometers. The atmosphere was insane!
I am currently volunteering in South Africa for six weeks and have entered the Old Mutual Two Oceans Half Marathon.
I try to make 2015 as wonderful and memorable as 2014. Travelling is my passion, running is my drug. Unlike most sports, running is about competing against yourself, giving the best you can and finishing the race with a lot of pride. You need determination and perseverance to cross the finish line.
It helped me finding my way and helped me being an accomplished person. Everytime I run a race, I wear my puzzle ribbon for autism to always remember where I come from and what I have gone through.