9-year-old girl conquers 24-hour Navy obstacle course

Milla Bizzotto competed with her father, Christian Bizzotto, 36, at BattleFrog’s first Xtreme 24-hour race at Virginia Key Beach in Miami March 4.

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At 9 years old, Milla was the only competitor under 18.

"I don’t want to play video games," Milla told The Miami Herald. "I don’t want to hoverboard. I don’t want to do things to make life easier. I want to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I have one body and it’s all I want and all I love."

The course involves running about 30 miles, jumping, crawling through mud and under barbed wire, swimming, climbing and navigating other obstacles, according to Fox News.

One challenge requires competitors to swing from ropes and climb monkey bars without touching the ground.

A photo posted by Milla Star (@millastarfma) on

"I’m so proud of her," Bizzotto said. "She was so amazing the entire race. She is really so relentless and refuses to quit."

The competition allowed Milla to run as long as her father was with her the entire time.

Milla trained for the race since June, getting up early in the morning to do homework and training three hours a day, five days a week.

The March race was not her first BattleFrog event. Milla finished her first race in November, running a nearly 10-mile course designed for adults.

A photo posted by Milla Star (@millastarfma) on

Milla said she became interested in the competition after she was bullied in school.

"People would call me names and say I wasn’t a good player. I didn’t want anyone else to go through what I did," she said. "I want to set an example and show other kids that they can do or be anything they want."

The training has worked in Milla's favor.

"I don’t get bullied anymore," she said. "I know how to stand up for myself now. And I love what I do"

Bizzotto spoke volumes about his daughter's performance in the competition.

"She literally murdered it. I was so convinced the race was going to crush her." he said. "I wanted to prove to her that it’s tougher than she thought. But when we finished it, all she wanted to do was another lap."

Her father, who was a trainer before opening his own gym, said he began training his daughter like any other client.

"She started training when she was about 7 when I was a CrossFit coach," Bizzotto said. "It was immediately evident. Not only was she more motivated than the average kid, she was super dedicated."

Milla needed $1,500 worth of gear to keep her safe for the race, including gloves, compression socks and hydration packs.

To raise money, her father set up a GoFundMe page in February.

For those who question Bizzotto's motives, Dr. Todd Narson, Milla's sports medicine doctor, said he is not living vicariously through Milla.

"This is all self-motivated," he said. "She’s a natural athlete, and she’s doing things that are reasonable for her. If she was in constant pain or shown developmental issues, it would be different. But that’s not the case at all."

And Milla's mother, Lara Bizzotto, is supportive of her daughter as well.

"Milla loves it. I don’t think you should set limits on people, much less children," she said.

Milla said her goal is to inspire others.

 I hope to inspire kids like me to stand up against bullies," she said in her Instagram bio.

That goal is echoed in her mission statement: I want to inspire a generation. #InspirationForTheiPadGeneration  

I want to inspire kids to eat healthy and get outside and play."

She was the youngest competitor in BattleFrog’s first Xtreme 24-hour race at Virginia Key Beach.

Posted by Miami Herald on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

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