Feature: Adaptive BIPOC Runner – Aristotle Domingo

Feature: Adaptive BIPOC Runner – Aristotle Domingo

Black Runners of the GTA

In 2017 Aristotle Domingo aka Todd wanted to do something for himself. He decided this very goal as he lay in his bed after having his left foot was amputated below the knee.  He didn’t tell anyone his goal. Todd wanted to run the GoodLife 5k. 

Todd had a bone infection in his feet.  Which resulted in pain ever time he walked. The surgery was a relief. Before the pain and surgery, Todd was an avid runner. 

The only person Todd shared his goal with, was his physiotherapist.  They both came up with a plan to incorporate more athletic training after his surgery in order to complete his goal safely and within 5 months.

At first, each step Todd took was painful with his prosthetic. First he started to walk and eventually started to run. Adapting with each season he ran until he was able to run a 5k. Todd achieved his goal, and his first race was a success. 

Todd was addicted to the rush. So much so, he set another goal of completing one 5k a month, and in July, only 7 month after his surgery. Todd started running two 5k races a month.

In January 2019, Todd had his second amputation, his right leg, below the knee.  This time around his physiotherapy was more intense with the training. The muscle memory of running on blades was still intact and in 6 months Todd was back continuing his running journey as a double amputee para athlete.

Todd jokingly says he only started to run to be able to eat whatever he wants, but in reality he started to run because it was something for himself. He zones out and taps into his own thoughts. Whether he is listening to his music or no music at all. He finds peace.

Todd understands the importance of representation and how it can be a source of empowerment for BIPOC individuals and especially for Para Athletes. The idea to run a 5k came to him when seeing others being able to do so on instagram. However, Todd cautions, with social media. Pictures rarely depict the invisible component of running; finding your own inner strength and confidence by setting your own goals and achieving them.

Todd is also the founder and support group leader for Amputee Coalition of Toronto. He recognized a need to create a space normalizing amputees in social settings-golfing, bowling and even running. He understands the comfort of building a community and seeing yourself in unfamiliar spaces.

Todd’s future goal is to run a full marathon. He would like to complete the marathon distance in Toronto, London, New York and finally Boston.