Most 9-year-olds are trying to keep up on the mile run in gym class. Milla Bizzotto, on the other hand, just crushed a race designed by U.S. Navy Seals for ultra-fit adults.
BattleFrog 24 lasts two grueling days, and involves running 36 miles, swimming 18 km (about 11 miles), and tackling six laps of obstacle courses. Sound intense? It is. Milla trained for nine months — five days a week for three hours a day to get into fighting shape.
She’s the youngest entrant ever, and says she’s competing as a form of “inspiration for the iPad generation.” But it’s also part of an effort to fight bullies, and inspire others to do the same.
“I just don’t want people to quit because they don’t believe in themselves,” Milla told CBS Miami. Her father (and coach) says that Milla had been bullied in school, but that the trouble stopped once she started training and gained confidence. "I think the bullying thing has died down without her having to take physical action, just because her outlook is so much different now that she knows how to defend herself,“ he explained.
That said, there can be risks to adolescents pushing themselves too hard. Doctors warn that overexercising at a young age can lead to overuse injuries, and put a strain on bodies that aren’t yet fully developed. As always, speak with a doctor before you (or your child) make any big fitness changes.
Still, if nothing else, Milla has inspired this beauty editor. If a 9-year-old can make it through 24 hours of running, climbing, swimming, and crawling, I can make it through an hour of yoga — super-flexible mat neighbors be damned.