Fear of health leads to community running group
RICHMOND, Virginia – Life is easier when people believe in you and inspire you to reach your highest potential. We Off the Couch, a running group from Richmond, helps people live their best lives. Band frontman Anthony Clary started chasing after a message from his GP in 2014.
“A little scared me. He was like yeah, man, so you’re pre-diabetic,” Anthony said, explaining the experience.
Prior to that, Anthony hadn’t cared too much about what he ate or how much exercise he did.
“When we got married for the first time, I would never eat salad,” he said.
Today, vegetables and mindful eating are an integral part of her family’s lifestyle.
“I started to like it once I saw the change. I was like, okay, so that goes with the change, so let me find out how to enjoy my salad,” Anthony said. .
Much has changed in the seven years since the eye-opening experience at the doctor’s office. Anthony’s weight is significantly different.
“I think I was three, pressing three. I was tall. My biggest shirt size was a 4x. And my biggest pant size was 44,” Anthony said, speaking of his background. weight loss.
Now he says he weighs just over 200 pounds.
“And I was smaller. I was like, Yeah, I’m a little too short,” Anthony laughed.
His transformation helped him develop a new passion.
“I was like, I’m gonna keep running. I was like, man, that thing running, man, that’s it,” Anthony said.
The hobby inspired others, and soon friends began to join him on his errands.
“Originally it started with three to five people, like a college buddy or two and a friend,” said Tara Clary, Anthony’s wife.
Then strangers joined the group.
“A friend said a friend said a friend, said a colleague, said a church member and it grew from there,” Tara said.
“I’m so lucky and grateful. I went there without knowing anyone, and as soon as I got there it was a big circle,” said Kyle Douroux, a member of the group.
The races have developed into a gathering of motivators, all working to inspire each other to go further and faster.
“I needed that encouragement because I was on my own,” said Brandi Harris while explaining how the group helped her meet her fitness goals.
Community is important to Anthony.
“No one is ever left behind. Everywhere I go I want people to feel loved,” he said.
Anthony needed to feel the same kind of love in 1999.
“When I was 17 my brother was robbed and killed in Hillside courthouse. He was 20. His name was James and it shook me deeply,” he said, explaining the period. most difficult of his life.
During this difficult time, Anthony found refuge and support in a neighborhood church.
“These people loved me through the amount of injury and trauma that I had already suffered before my brother died, you know, it really changed the way I look at the world,” Anthony said.
Now the social worker is dedicated to raising others.
“Everyone is grappling with something. We encourage each other and everyone we see on the street. We encourage them in the same way, like you here, you are going to understand that today,” a Anthony said of positive energy. the group shares on the slopes.
The group helps her to remain responsible for her health journey and to spread her message.
“You have everything you need hidden inside of you,” Anthony said.
“We like to say it’s pavement therapy,” Tara said.
The growing group of runners are making impactful changes thanks to the healthy choices of the now fit man who started it all.
“It makes me happy. It just makes me happy on the inside that people can come together on one thing and move in unison. We want people to see that they matter,” said Anthony.
Anthony and Tara hope to start a healthy lifestyle nonprofit with a focus on nutrition and exercise.