Marie Antoinette Ngong

Stay the Course.

Exercise and regular physical activity is good for your health regardless of your age, sex, physical ability or fitness level. It is essential for improving and maintaining physical fitness. For stroke survivors it is no different. Physical activity after a stroke could improve fitness and functional problems caused by stroke. Marie Antoinette Ngong is on a mission to work around the physical barriers imposed on her as a result of a stroke. Marie’s willingness to stay the course has gotten her to the point where she can now bounce a ball and catch it.

Reclaiming Strength.

After Marie suffered a stroke her children contacted Heather Kobus, a certified personal trainer at Athlete’s Arena Irmo. Her spirit and desire to reclaim her coordination, strength and range of motion is what inspired Heather to dig deep and come up with just the right programing for Marie. She was determined to assist Marie with reclaiming her strength and movement so Marie could return to performing simple daily tasks and be as independent as possible. After addressing safety concerns with a pre-assessment screening, Heather put the right programing to work for Marie.


Stroke survivors face a number of barriers to exercise, including stroke severity, fatigue, depression, lack of motivation and social support.  Marie has a strong support system, including her loving family, church and all of us here at Athlete’s Arena. This support system allows Marie to stay consistent with her exercise program. She looks forward to each and every training sessions with Heather and, with her steadfast determination and motivation, Marie has succeeding in overcoming many of the barriers she once faced. Consistency is key!  

Can’t? Not in Marie’s Vocabulary.

What I love most about Marie is she does not hide away thinking that she ‘Can’t’.  Marie has victories with each of your sessions. Some are big and some are small. All these victories are significant. As she gets stronger she becomes more confident. I see improvements from speech, to walking, to completing everyday tasks.  Her mood is always positive and her spirit lights up our gym.-Heather Kobus  

Marie is inspiring, beautiful, determined and her faith is strong. We love having her and her husband in our gym.

For more information on programs and training offered at Athlete’s Arena Irmo, contact 803.750.9036 or email