Alessandra Buenner is the fearless leader of a small group of ladies hoping to triumph their own personal goals.
When Amy Velez told Loida Delavega they’d be doing the YMCA’s Mud Fest obstacle course and 5K together, she had only one major concern.
“I don't run,” Delavega laughed, “at all. I tried treadmill before, but I gave up. It’s too hard.”
That all changed when the duo started training for the October course Aug. 12 with experienced competitor Alessandra Buenner. The whole running issue, was one of the first things they tackled.
“The first time we got to the Granada Bridge, she told me ‘I don’t run,’” Buenner said. “She said ‘I never run.’ I told her it was all her mindset, and she went up and down that bridge twice. I was screaming ‘Yes! Yes!’”
When Delavega started her training just a few weeks ago, she couldn’t run for a full minute — now she’s up to five.
“I haven’t even done a 5K and I’m jumping into this,” Delavega said. “It’s crazy.”
“The mud will make it fun,” Velez nudged her. “It’s good to try something new.”
“I’m not excited about the mud,” she said. “I’m only doing this because of you.”
The two moms met when their daughters started attending preschool together. Now that their kids are getting older, both agree that being a role model for physical activity and a taste for adventure is crucial for their kids to see.
“It’s important to keep a healthy lifestyle,” Velez said, “and it’s important for my children to see that in me.”
Delavega’s 9-year-old daughter is a gymnast, and trains 16 hours a week.
“I told myself that if she’s doing that much work,” Delavega said, “I should do at least a little bit.”
The ladies are running as a team in the upcoming course, with Buenner leading them through the possible rope climbs, wire crawls and mud jumps they might face.
“The concept is strength training,” Buenner said. “You don’t need to be fast, but you need to be powerful. Everything we’re doing to train is to make us stronger.”
With still over a month left to build their muscles and mindsets, Buenner makes sure to keep her ladies motivated.
“The first fan is yourself,” she said. “You have to be you’re first fan. You are your motivator. You do that because you love yourself. You can be the best you can be.”
Interested in Mud Fest?
Held at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 10 at Camp Winona, the inaugural Mud Fest will put your physical and mental endurance to the test. The Ormond Beach YMCA hosts training sessions twice a week for members and nonmembers. Call 738-9622 for pricing and more information.