Energetic, radiant, outgoing, beautiful, fun-loving, dependable and precocious are just a handful of words that fellow Beef Team members use to describe Camille Baptiste. You could also call her an accomplished, enthusiastic, well-rounded athlete who enjoys all race distances and event types from marathons, to mud runs and triathlons, to those long city-to-city charity bike rides!
Sharing her backstory, Camille explains, “Around 2008, I started walking, then running, to manage my post-baby weight and to be social, as I was living in a new neighborhood and feeling a little lonely as a stay-at-home mom. Another mom encouraged me to go out walking with our young kids in tow. It just became a habit. I would walk longer, further, quicker and slowly I started “wogging,” then jogging, then running, and then sprinting.”
In 2013, Camille learned how to ride a bike in order to participate in the LIVESTRONG Challenge bike ride as a way to honor her sister-in-law who passed away from breast cancer. Soon she was hooked on cycling and later that summer also added swimming to her resume, learning how to go beyond the “dog paddle” so she could join her training buddies in triathlons. Of all the event distances she’s done over the years, Camille reveals, “Small to medium-sized triathlons are still my favorite races because I feel like I’m at a party all day with friends!”
We love Camille’s win-win outlook and positive attitude toward racing, even when things don’t go exactly as planned. “I have three goals for every race,” she explains, “best, better and good. Doing so helps me to account for weather, injury and attitude.” And, we also think it accounts for her having a smile and high five at every finish line.
Her days are not all filled with running and biking, yet she still leads a very active life! Camille is a project manager/business consultant, avid community volunteer, mom of two active boys (Dominic and Daniel), and a devoted wife. She and her husband, Woody, still live in the same house in Hutto, Texas that they moved into during their first month of marriage more than 17 years ago! Over this time, Camille has served in numerous capacities on various City of Hutto boards and commissions. She feels it has been a great environment to raise her active family who often join her for mud runs, fun runs, recreational sports and community service opportunities.
Camille is training for her first-ever Aqua-Bike event, loves to dance, and is a self-professed lover of hats in every style (most of us knew that). Read on to learn more about this fabulous Beef Team member in her own words.
Volunteering: I am very active in my growing community. I’ve served on several Boards and Commissions for the City of Hutto inkling Planning & Zoning, Ethics, and Library. I also volunteer to cook and feed the homeless for the ARCH. Additionally, several times a year, my entire family participates in “Keep Hutto Beautiful” trash clean up and the “Keep Austin Beautiful” lake clean ups.
You Might Not Know: 1) I’ve seen every 007 movie and read the books written back in the 1960s; 2) I am a Chess Master since junior high and always looking for a game; and 3) I can throw a great theme party.
Favorite Beef Team Memory: My very first Beef Team race was 3M Half Marathon in 2015. I met so many new teammates that have become friends that very night. I was fortunate enough to meet one that lived a stone’s throw away from me and we arranged to carpool to the race together. I experienced my first ever run through a “Beef Cheer Section” and felt like a ROCK STAR. I was over dressed for that cold day that warmed up quickly and ran out of stream or motivation around mile 11. When I asked God for a sign (really, I did) I looked up after my prayer and a ray of sunshine was beaming only on Kristi Hughes who I friended the night before at the pre-race dinner. We finished the race together and her encouragement kept me on track. Unbeknownst to me, all my new Beef Team friends who had finished earlier were waiting for me at the finish line. Tears were in my eyes. I would never forget that embrace and cherish that finish line photo!
Favorite Beef-Sponsored Race: 3M Half Marathon, the first race I ran with the Beef Team and it’s still one of my favorite races. If I’m not running in it, I’m volunteering at Water Stop #3. It’s a great race course, I get to see teammates at the beginning of the year, and the pre-race dinner is always a good time.
Other Races I Love: Vern’s is a great race series! I enjoy meeting up with my BFFs (Beef Fun Friends) and inviting new Beef Team members from the Central Texas area out to participate, as well as other friends new to fitness and running. It’s a great course to “show” them the ropes, and is easy enough for new walkers and runners to complete. I also love Splash & Dash, just because!
Two Favorite Beef Cuts: Flank and Top Round, for sure. Oh, and I love oxtails and beef stew cuts used in many Caribbean dishes and soups. And, I can’t forget beef short ribs… this is more than two, but I’m a diversified beef eater!
Favorite Beef Recipe: I tried the Korean Braised Short Ribs from the Beef Loving Texans recipe database – so delicious! Other than that, I have many “passed down Caribbean dishes” that were taught to me hands-on and committed to rote memory.
What I’ve Learned About Beef: All of the essential amino acids and the satiety that comes from eating beef helps with weight loss, muscle development for training, and living a healthier life.
Beef Team Love: My quality of life and active lifestyle has changed for the better since joining the Beef Team. I’ve lost plenty of weight and been able to keep it off using practices from the 30-Day Protein Challenge. I actually race and volunteer more because of the connections, friendships, and opportunities the Beef Team offers. My circle of closet friends is made of Beef Team members from all over the state. My boys look forward annually to going to the Adventure Race and Grilling 101s.
Training Partners: My regular training group is a Y-Crew, we call ourselves Team 5:20 since we train at the crack of dawn. I also train with Team Radioactive and 26.2 Running Club. I also often run with my dog Gigi. We’ve run a few races together but she loves when I take her out on the trail or do hill repeats and she can run free or race me to the top off leash.
Overcoming Training Obstacles: I’ve had all the training obstacles including injuries, family obligations, sickness, time constraints, and more. I learned to train early in the morning before the world wakes up and needs me. I’ve also purchased things like a bike trainer which have simplified my bike training and increased my safety from being out on the open road. One of the tricks I use is my three-tier goals plan (Best, Better, Good) – it’s my way of convincing myself into thinking I am always winning. Also, I enlisted the use of active release therapy, chiropractic care, cupping and acupuncture to keep me fresh to train and race for the majority of every year.
Post-race Reward: Honestly, I usually have my Crockpot of Beef (Boned) Ribs and a cold beer waiting for me after a race.
Race Mantra: I have several. Usually, I sing either “This Little Light of Mine,” “I’m a Rockstar” by Rhianna, or “Go-Fight-Win” by B-shoc. Because I love to dance and party, tricking my brain to think I’m having fun or in control of something helps me be more productive in swimming, biking, and running. Another technique I use is simple counting – it shows me that I am moving forward and making progress.
Dream Celebrity Running Partner: Kevin Hart because I love to laugh!
Pre-run Food: I like a crunchy rice cake with almond butter.
Best Running Advice: Someone once told me, “Get out of your head and just do it.” I like to tell people, “Forward is motion, including crawling, walking, “wogging,” jogging, and running. Just find your happy pace.”
Favorite Running Shoes: Saucony Kinvara