Q&A With Marcus Cook

Marcus Cook is a Houston-based executive who dropped more than 250 pounds thanks to a promise he made in honor of a close friend and business partner. Now Marcus is training for and participating in marathons and triathlons across the country. We want to learn more about his incredible adventure – where his fitness journey has taken him and where he plans to go.

Q: When did your fitness journey begin?

Marcus Cook: In 2015, I weighed around 489 pounds and a very close friend and business mentor found out he had terminal cancer. He brought me into his office and said he was dying of cancer and I was dying because of my lifestyle. He also said he would do anything to trade spots with me because he could beat being overweight. I made a promise to him then and there that I would to try and pursue a healthier lifestyle.

Q: What did you find the most challenging when starting your fitness journey?

MC: The hardest part of a weight loss and training program are those first few months. I find that the longer you keep forcing the old habits to die, the more the new routine becomes a habit. There are a lot of people who think they can say, “I’m going to get healthy,” then they start changing everything in a few days. And then they wonder why they fail. You have to start and keep at it. Don’t set a goal that you can’t achieve in 2-4 weeks; instead, set a goal that you know will take a year to complete.

Q: How does your Garmin product assist with your training?

MC: I’ve been using Garmin on my bike since I started training. I also used the Garmin Forerunner 935 for both of my triathlon races. When you are trying to get faster, it’s so valuable to have the equipment that shows you your numbers, so you know how to improve.

Q: What is the most inspiring moment of your fitness journey so far?

MC: When I was close to 500 pounds, I thought I was the only one I was affecting. Now that I have lost more than 250 pounds, I realize I was hurting a lot of people around me and that has allowed me to inspire my family! Listing their achievements blows my mind! To think if I hadn’t decided to change, maybe their changes wouldn’t have happened. I genuinely believe we have changed the DNA of our family dynamic forever.

Q: How do you aspire to #BeatYesterday?

MC: I love when I get the notifications at the end of an event that tells me I have beaten an old workout. I try every day to stick to my training plan. Sometimes when you are starting out, you get consumed with how much you are doing. When you know what you are doing, and a good coach is involved, you begin to realize it’s not about quantity but about the quality of your training. Garmin does a great job giving you real-time information as well as the training stats after your work out is over.

Q: How do you keep yourself motivated?

MC: My family and my friends are all so supportive and so is the legacy of my friend who passed away. He told me to try my hardest. I find that is what keeps me moving. I tell everyone his story in hopes it sparks a fire that leads to the kind of success I’ve had.

Q: What are your goals for the next year?

MC: I am currently training for IRONMAN World Championships. I am hoping to show that anything is possible! I have raised $100,000 for the Ironman Foundation, and I am racing for them. My oldest son and I are participating in the IRONMAN Texas 2019. After that, I am going to be running the Leadville Marathon and the Silver Rush 50 Run. I’m looking at the logistics for doing some Xterra racing to get the status of Leadman in 2020.

Q: What advice do you have for those starting their fitness journey?

MC: Start small. Little changes lead to big rewards later on. Set an attainable schedule and be bull-headed to make it happen.