ENDURANCE SPORTS: Stepping out of the box and into the dirt | TheUnion.com
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ENDURANCE SPORTS: Stepping out of the box and into the dirt

Consider what a 73-year-old woman might be doing on a typical Sunday in November.

Maybe reading a book, taking a walk or enjoying a cup of tea?

Not Joanne Osnas. Instead, she chose to step out of her box … Way out of her box.



Nine months ago she decided to participate in the Nov. 4 Spartan Race at Van Vleck Ranch in Sacramento.

What is a Spartan Race?



Imagine 5,000 participants with an average age of under 40, on a cattle ranch, climbing over walls, carrying buckets of rocks, crawling under barbed wire and even dunking under a wall of muddy water.

How does one prepare for such a grueling event?

Spartan Races can be run as a team effort, supporting one another along the route. Recognizing she needed physical and emotional support, Osnas enrolled the help of her friends, family and her personal trainers who accompanied her every step of the way. Having previous experience with Spartan Races, her daughter Laura, and son in law Jericho, were able to assist her in negotiating the obstacles. Her personal trainers, Marilyn Rohrbacher and myself, of MOVE! Fitness Studio in Nevada City, analyzed and prioritized her physical needs.

In Osnas’ case, considerations were given to her osteoarthritis as well as her two knee replacements. But, no matter how good her support system was, it was Osnas who did the work.

How does someone with these physical challenges negotiate a four-mile course on a cow trail with 20 obstacles designed to test your brains and brawn?

It was a team effort. Laura, Jericho and myself all assisted Joanne through the obstacles and celebrated with her while crossing the finish line together.

The bottom line is with preparation, support, determination and a lot of love, anything is possible, and last Sunday Osnas proved what is takes to be a true Spartan.

Do you have a sports related story you want to see in The Union? Contact Sports Editor Walter Ford by email at wford@theunion.com or by phone at 530-477-4232.


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