Richmond Hill Post - - Front Page - MONIKA SCHNARRE

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.

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