“Medical trainee, I am a medalist within the European Athletics Championships”

Posted on September 1, 2022, 7:03 amUpdated September 22, 2022 12:14 pm

” The best day of my life. That’s how I would describe the 21st of August 2022. That day, I took to the Munich stadium track for the 10,000 meters event of the European Athletics Championships. Two other Frenchmen, Jimmy Gressier and Yoann Kowal, are competing alongside me. I’m the one you least expect. My goal: the top 8, and at best the 5and square.

Finally, I create the surprise. When I crossed the finish line, I was third with a time of 27’47”13 – my personal best, just ahead of Jimmy Gressier. Everything stirs in my head, I wonder where I am, what I’m doing here. Suddenly, I go from shadow to light. I am interviewed by Nelson Monfort, the sports journalist, who even has his waxwork in the Grévin museum. I walk around the stadium with the French flag on my shoulders, with about twenty of my relatives in the audience. I say to myself in disbelief: “Why me? I’m not a star. » And I understand that after this race, my destiny will change.

These emotions are all the more indescribable because eight years ago I thought about making track and field a hobby. At that time, I was in my first year of medicine. Due to lack of time, he had abandoned the competitions. I ran three times a week, but mostly to clear my head.

an accurate calendar

As soon as my first year of medicine was validated, I decided to really get back into the sport. In the space of three months, I find a suitable level. Something to revive me. In 2and and 3and medical year, I train five times a week. I don’t play much because, on the other hand, I have a pretty normal student life, with parties, which doesn’t help much in terms of recovery. In 2017, I was still French champion in the 3,000 meters indoor.

A year later, I had a click when I managed to qualify for the cross country championship in the hope category. That year, I also won the title of French champion in the 10,000 meters. I tell myself that if I get more serious next to my training, maybe I can go further. A year later, I get the 19and place in the senior European cross country championship. encouraging.

Since then, my schedule has been adjusted to better match my hospital internships and my training. Some periods are more difficult. I’m thinking, for example, of my six-month internship in the emergency room, with staggered schedules. My sleep cycle was disturbed and it was quite difficult to train under these conditions.

Six weekly workouts

Now in an internship at a hospital in a geriatrics department, with traditional schedules, I can better reconcile the two. I train between noon and two or at night, up to six times a week. It’s not always easy to stay motivated, especially in winter when I go for a run after work and it’s cold and dark. But athletics is a beautiful sport with a lot of support, and I always find someone to support me in training and take my time, even when I arrive to train in a city where I don’t know anyone.

So far, I haven’t had a flexible schedule. It’s hard to be away to train while you’re treating the sick… On the other hand, to participate in competitions, for example in Munich, I always manage to take time off.

Today I live more with the salary of an intern than with the sport. In competition, I have professional athletes in front of me, who train ten times a week. They have a whole team behind them: physio, osteo…

These athletes live thanks to contracts and bonuses that vary according to their performance. If they perform well, everything can be unlocked. But if they don’t perform or get hurt, everything could stop. I don’t envy them. I wouldn’t want to dedicate my life to sport alone, that would put a lot of pressure on me.

I find my balance with my double life. A good day for me is a day when I have time to work, train and spend time with my loved ones. I usually go for a drink or two, go to a restaurant, hang out, with my group of friends I’ve had since kindergarten. They’re neither in athletics nor medicine, and it does me a lot of good to talk to them about something else.

Preparing for the 2024 Olympics

Ma 8and medical year ends in November. At this point, I hope that my university can give me two years off to prepare for the 2024 Olympics. The medal I won in Munich makes me believe that I can do something. I tell myself it would be silly two years before the Olympics not to try everything. I don’t want to turn 50 and regret it, tell me “Why didn’t you try when it’s every athlete’s dream to participate in the Games, especially in Paris? ».

This free time will allow me to participate in athletics courses abroad, in Kenya, South Africa, USA… Something amazing! I’m lucid: I’m not immune to injuries or poor performance and it’s possible that I won’t be able to qualify. But if I can and get a result, so much the better.

Some athletes, still students, take credits to grant themselves gap years. It’s something I really want to avoid. I hope I can last these two years thanks to the support of the sponsors, which I have yet to find.

During these two years, I intend, if possible, to do half-day shifts with sports doctors. I will be able to resume my course in 2024 and finish it a year later. My goal: to become a sports doctor. »

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