Discover the inspiring testimony of Carl Montpetit, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease since 2014, and a pédallié of Parkinson Quebec.
I am Carl Montpetit aka #yogitheshakingbear, living with Parkinson’s disease since 2014, and I have been participating in the Défi Vélo for 4 years because I think it is important to promote physical activity for people with the disease.
My Virtual Défi Vélo 2021 consisted of reaching the City of Montmagny from Victoriaville in one day (August 24), which represents a distance of nearly 180 km. These two cities mean a lot to me; Montmagny being my alma mater, and Victoriaville my adopted city. My original goal was to raise $ 1971 (my year of birth) and to date I have reached over $ 3785 which is amazing for me.
When I decided to take on this challenge, I thought to myself and a lot of people must have thought I was crazy! Here are two quotes from Dr. Sylvain Chouinard, Neurologist specializing in movement disorders at the CHUM: “Mr. Montpetit I have 3 pieces of advice for you: move, move, move … If you believe (people with Parkinson’s) that we want to make you Olympic athletes, well you are right!” All my preparation was done to be on top of my cycling form on August 24 …. It worked wonderfully!
I was planning on doing the Défi Vélo alone with my “sports director” Jean-François Pinard (whom I sincerely thank) but following a call from me about my desire to have people accompany me for part of the 180 km , I received unexpected support. First of all there was Simon Labranche, whom I did not know until the morning of the challenge, who supervised me throughout the 180 km and who has since become a friend. Then there was my childhood friend Stéphane Roy who joined us at St-Antoine de Tilly in Lévis, and finally I was supervised by the Vélo-Magny gang (led by Sylvain Marois) for the last 50 km. My mother even did a few sections, one in Lévis and the last for the finish line.
My best memory of that day was having this spirit of collaboration. As this African proverb says: alone we go faster, together we go further. Thank you for supporting the cause of Parkinson’s which is close to my heart and also on my body!