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Rebecca, a model to follow: Defending and recovering

Rebecca, a model to follow: Defending and recovering

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March 30, 2023

 |  Centre Multisports

There are these striking encounters that inhabit us without ever wanting to leave us. These inspiring encounters which remind us of the fragility of life, its ugliness, but which also reveal all its beauty. When I sat down in front of Rebecca in the large hall of the André-Chagnon Multisports Center last November, I had no idea that the words I was going to hear that afternoon were going to resonate in my head for the rest of the day. And the others after. Because we are never ready to hear the story of a woman abused by a twisted mind.


When she hears about women’s box-fit classes last spring, Rebecca feels a call and goes there to get in shape. A form lost in the maze of a pandemic and in a piece of life spent alongside a troubled man. This is where his trainer Paul Bourgoin invites him to a free self-defense trial lesson. She jumps on the invitation and slowly cultivates confidence and managing her emotions:
“It’s really the thing that can be useful in life, admits Rebecca, we hope not to use it, but these are things that can be useful in an emergency situation”.

This confidence comes at the right time for the young woman, because she is in the process of reconstruction. Fresh out of a toxic relationship with a violent man, Rebecca carries with her verbal abuse, threats, and attempts at humiliation like an invisible ball that poisons the heart. The body, on the other hand, deals with the physical injuries inflicted by grips on the throat and an excessive push on a piece of furniture which left her paralyzed on the ground. With her back shattered, her confidence crumbling and her sleep disturbed, she extricated herself from this soiled spiral and slowly managed to rebuild her inner home which brought her enough light to keep her head held high: “I am able to talk about it without leaving in the emotion, because it is really digested, entrusts Rebecca. I’m also going to psychotherapy to help digest it all and it’s going great. I consider myself lucky to have some form of resilience. I’m not tempted to let all these events have an impact on my life, it would give him too much power. »


When we watch Rebecca follow the advice of her trainer, we can only salute the resilience of the young woman who chose to look ahead while leaving her past behind. Paul Bourgoin also appreciates the will of his protegee never to relive what she experienced. At the base of this recovery is the confidence that must be regained: “If you don’t have confidence in yourself, you will never be able to do anything, explains the coach. What I teach is to have confidence. You will not be able to manage a situation if you are not able to manage your emotions. According to the philosophy of Paul Bourgoin, who combines an experience as rich as it is varied in his field, learning to defend oneself is first of all learning to manage one’s emotions. What Rebecca seems to accomplish over the weeks, days, hours. She also expresses herself with great acuity on the importance of this course at this time in her life: “I got caught in the throat. In my head, when I look back on the events, it seems like I’m reliving the situation, but I try to relive it so that it doesn’t end up the way it was. So, coming here gives me the answer to the question I ask myself when I redo the script. It plunges me back into emotion, but it reassures me, because now I would know what to do exactly so as not to pick myself up in a situation like I have already experienced. The next person who attacks me, it’s not me who will end up on the ground. »

To speak of resilience in the case of Rebecca does not seem representative enough of all that she accomplishes. In addition to being an inspiring light for all those who live the unlivable, she paves the way for a new life where she no longer gives power to her thoughts, to her wounds, to this past with which she no longer identifies. . Talking about it did him a lot of good. She found the ear of her best friend, her parents, a resource on the phone at SOS Violence Conjugale. She stopped nourishing this dark part to finally let her light spring forth. His relatives have also pointed out to him that they have found their Rebecca. A Rebecca in better shape even than before meeting her executioner. With all the respect I have for this woman, such testimonies serve to prevent the next tragedy: “I will never understand the human being to do things like that, laments Paul Bourgoin, his throat knotted. The only thing I can do is take the person in my arms and console them and tell them: we will move forward together and you will succeed. »

Sport is sometimes greater than the exploits it provides.
Respect, Rebecca.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, do not hesitate to ask for help:
SOS Violence Conjugale: 1 800 363-9010.

By: Patrick Richard

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