The girl is on the home stretch, but even still, the odds are stacked against her. She’s only nine years old, yet little Milla Bizzotto is facing a challenge not only intended for the very fittest of adults, but also one designed by a Navy SEAL. It doesn’t get much tougher than this, and any normal nine-year-old would surely have crumbled under the pressure by now.
Milla Bizzotto, however, is anything but a normal nine-year-old. The Miami youngster may be a mere four feet tall and weigh just 53 pounds, but she’s already breaking boundaries other kids can only dream of.
“I’m fearless,” the South Florida third grader told the Miami Herald last month. “And knowing I’m inspiring people makes me more fearless. It is hard, but that doesn’t stop me.”
Milla wasn’t always like this. As a second grader, she was relentlessly bullied by kids in her class who would call her names and tease her. Ironically, though, it was the bullying that gave her the motivation to train for the challenge of a lifetime.
When she was very young Milla would watch her dad, CrossFit coach-turned-gym owner Christian Bizzotto, participate in BattleFrog and Spartan obstacle courses and challenges. And as soon as she learned to walk, she’d wait for him at the finish line.
Yet Milla’s dad wasn’t always the zenith of fitness he is now, either. Christian told the Daily Mail that he was once “super heavy set,” but he completely changed his lifestyle in order to become a better role model for his daughter.
His transformation worked, as Milla soon became anxious to join him in his incredible feats of fitness. After smashing through her first BattleFrog last November and a Spartan Sprint in December, she stepped up for her biggest challenge yet.
In order to have any chance of conquering what lay ahead, however, Milla had to dedicate herself completely to fitness. She trained three hours a day, five days a week, squeezing in her homework in the mornings or while traveling.
But the road to success wasn’t without its challenges. At one point during her gruelling training regime, Milla twisted her ankle after leaping from an eight-foot wall. Thankfully, the tenacious youngster was back on her feet within days.
The course Milla was about to embark upon had strict safety regulations – particularly for someone so young – and she needed a massive $1,500 worth of safety equipment to participate. Even this was small fry for Milla, though, who successfully crowdfunded her way to paying for the necessary gloves, lights, hydration packs and compression socks.
Of course, it’s not every day that a nine-year-old girl undertakes a challenge intended for adults at the peak of fitness. In fact, Milla was the youngest person ever to compete in a challenge like this, and so the organizers had to bend the rules to allow her to take part.
So, what was Milla in training for? Only a 24-hour BattleFrog Xtreme obstacle race, designed by a Navy SEAL – something from which even the hardiest of adults would shy away.
But Milla wasn’t afraid of what lay ahead. Far from it – she relished the challenge, telling the Miami Herald, “I don’t want to play video games. 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.”
To even be allowed to compete, Milla’s dad had to agree to run, jump, swim, climb and crawl beside her. The five-mile course at Virginia Key Beach was littered with around 25 obstacles and would test every fiber of her – and his – being.
When the day arrived in March 2016, however, Milla crushed it. She completed six laps in total – around 30 miles – sleeping only between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. According to Milla, the most difficult section of the course was the “Platinum Rig,” which requires athletes to swing through the air on rings, ropes and monkey bars – all without touching the ground.
Milla’s dad beamed with pride at his daughter’s achievement, telling the Miami Herald, “She was so amazing the entire race. She is really so relentless and refuses to quit.”
Her mom, Lara Bizzotto, said that while both Milla and Christian are extreme, “I don’t think you should set limits on people, much less children.” The couple may be divorced, but they both love and support Milla’s drive and determination.
In some cases like Milla’s, the parents are often accused of living vicariously through their children, but Dr. Todd Narson said that wasn’t true here at all. In fact, the sports medicine specialist, who has treated Milla for the past 18 months, stressed that the youngster is a natural, self-motivated athlete.
And, just like her father, Milla has become a role model all on her own. On her GoFundMe page, she wrote that she wants to, “inspire kids to eat healthy and get outside and play,” using the hashtag #InspirationForTheiPadGeneration.
Not only did Milla smash a course intended for adults twice her age and size, she also managed to overcome her bullies at school by learning how to stand up for herself. Indeed, she’s a true role model and inspiration to both adults and kids alike. We’ll see you at the gym…