MONIKA VS. THE MARINES
PRIVATE SCHNARRE ON HER DAY WITH A DRILL SERGEANT
As I arrive at the O Course, Tony Austin, who is a former U.S. Marine Corps drill instructor, tells me I’m late (by one minute) and orders me to drop and give him 20. This is not going to go well.
The O Course is Canada’s first and only military obstacle training course. We are at the currently defunct Wild Water Kingdom, one of two locations where Austin hosts the course. The other is Lamport Stadium.
It is a maze of back-breaking military-type drills, which are designed to bring you to your breaking point.
I’m not there for five minutes before I’m running through a muddy swamp with a tire over my head, crawling (sniper style) through mosquito-infested waters and hurling myself over high walls, clinging to life by a rope.
He tells me he’s taking it easy on me. They usually start with a five- to 26-kilometre run.
Austin, a Florida native, is an awesome, inspiring powerhouse of energy. He runs these courses through his King West studio, Fit Factory Fitness. He began running the course in 2012 as an extension to his boot camp classes, and due to the popularity of adventure racing and extreme workouts (think Tough Mudder, Spartan and Crossfit training) he now holds events throughout the year.
The next event is taking place on Aug. 8 at Wild Water Kingdom. Austin also offers a kid-friendly version of the O Course as well as courses designed for charity events.
If running with heavy objects while being screamed at by a drill sergeant in fatigues is your thing, you have to try this! The timed obstacle course race is beloved by adventure race fans. Fitness buffs of all skill levels and interests converge on the course to test their limits.
We started with the tire run (knees up, you know the one), then pushups and situps while holding a tire in the mud, then the sniper crawl through the same muddy water, followed by climbing over a 20-foot wall.
Each course is different. This workout is tough and extreme. So if you’re worried about your mani/pedi making it through the day, this is not for you. However, if you’re up for something new and challenging and fun — I strongly recommend this.
The next day, I felt it mostly in my shoulders and arms. I felt like Demi Moore in G.I. Jane yelling “hoo-rah” at the top of my lungs with mud dripping down my face.
It felt totally kick-ass and I was invincible. Forget about anyone who got in my way. Today I was a mean, military fighting machine.
The only downside? It took about three showers to get all the mud and muck off me. Mud and muck had arrived in places it had never been before.
THE O COURSE NAME: Fit Factory Fitness ADDRESS: 373 King St. W. PRICE: $30/course
Monika Schnarre is a model, actor, entrepreneur and television personality. She has appeared in over 50 television shows and films and on over 100 magazine covers.