Lifelong Runner Joins COMPto5K in New Life

8:34 AM

After completing hundreds of races in high school and college, Antoine slowed down as his weight increased. Now, he has a renewed passion for running in his life after surgery. 

I've run hundreds of races in my life. I started participating in races 35 years ago while in high school, even earning a full scholarship to college for track and field. After college, I continued to run road races such as 10Ks and marathons. At the time, 5K races weren't widely popular yet, but once they grew in popularity I started running those as well.

Over the years, as I gained weight I stopped participating in races. I was eating all the wrong foods, snacks and drinks. I developed high blood pressure, high cholesterol and prediabetes. Eventually, my primary doctor suggested weight loss surgery and I began my weight loss journey.

After surgery I started training like a beginner again, although I knew all of the techniques and training for runners. It was humbling to start fresh. I always knew I would be running again, and after weight loss surgery I completed the Baltimore Marathon, which I ran in 3:05:21, a personal best! It was the first and only race I've done in this new life I'm now living.

For me, the best part of running is the euphoria and the freedom to be able to run without getting tired or feeling out of shape. One of my biggest non-scale victories in my weight loss journey is whenever I'm walking past someone who doesn't recognize me until they take a second look. It feels good when you get that "WOW!" moment. I wouldn't have the life I have without support from my wife, family, friends and from my new family at GBMC.

Everybody is always telling me that I should be a spokesperson for weight loss because I get so pumped up, which is inspiring to others who might have some doubt! My advice for COMPto5K participants is this: the race is not giving to the fastest or strongest, but to he or she that endures until the end. Find something that gets you excited about running, see yourself as a finisher, and visualize yourself crossing the finish line.

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