Just ask IFBB Pro League athlete Al Auguste, who was born in Leogane, Haiti, and lived in Port-au-Prince, the nation’s capital, until age 14, when his family moved to Florida. “It’s like a bad neighborhood in any city here in the United States,” Auguste says, referring to the environment he grew up in. “We could never have an established power, a person in office for a long period of time. It’s like, walk in the door and the next thing you know, they’re out the door. There were a lot of disturbances due to the political unrest. And when something like that happens, it forces schools to close. Sometimes, I would miss school for a couple months. Thank God I had a strong family. We were able to manage without being involved in bad situations where we could possibly lose our lives. My mother kept a close watch on me and my brothers and sisters. We didn’t have it easy, but we were able to survive.”
That’s an understatement. The 35-year-old Auguste, the youngest of five children, is doing more than surviving. He’s thriving as a start doing it, it doesn’t take long to start seeing results.”
It didn’t take long for Auguste’s physique to get noticed. In 2001, he placed first in the middleweight class at the NPC Central Florida, then fifth at the Southeastern USA. He continued to finish high in regional shows and competed in his first NPC Nationals competition in ’05, finishing seventh in the welterweight class. In the years that followed, he was close, but not close enough, to reaching his goal of being an IFBB pro. From ’07 to ’09, he placed runner-up three times in contests with a pro card on the line (twice at the Nationals and once at the USA, all in the light-heavyweight division).
But Auguste never wavered. He hit the weights even harder and finally, in 2010, earned his pro card at the USA after winning the light-heavyweight division. And while some have been known to reach their goal and subsequently relax and enjoy the accomplishment, Auguste’s work ethic only increased.
“Whatever place I come in—first or last—I’m always hungry for more,” Auguste says. “That drives me. If you’re in first place, someone’s going to be gunning to knock you off the pedestal. And if you’re last, you have to train harder to prove to the judges that you deserve to be on the same stage as the guys that finished first, second, and third. Regardless of where I place, I’m always going to keep training hard.”
This attitude helped him start off his rookie year with a bang. Auguste won his pro debut, the 2011 IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Weekly 202, which qualified him for the Olympia 202 Showdown this past September, where he placed a disappointing ninth. “In my opinion, I think I should have placed higher,” Auguste adds. “But competing in my first Showdown, it was very unlikely that I was going to get the nod and be top five. I accepted it, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy with it.”
“I’ll go as far as my body takes me,” Auguste says. “Who knows, I could be 50 years old and still competing, or in the next five years I could be done. As long as my body can handle the dieting and training, I’m still going to be competing.” Makes perfect sense. Al Auguste has come too far to stop now.