Meet the 9-Year-Old Girl Who Competed in a 24-Hour Obstacle Course to Raise Awareness About Bullying

“Knowing I’m inspiring people makes me more fearless.”

Photo via Instagram/Millastarfma

Most people can’t imagine staying awake for 24 hours, let alone competing in a highly athletic U.S. Navy SEAL-inspired obstacle course for that long. But that’s exactly what 9-year-old Milla Bizzotto did. The race required the 53-pound South Florida native to run 36 miles, swim 8 kilometers and conquer 25 obstacles that included “a rope climb, crawling under barbed wire, and climbing a 12-foot wall,” according to the Washington Post. To train, she spent three hours a day at the gym, five days a week.

But the course isn’t the most interesting part of the story; it’s the reason behind Bizzotto’s decision to participate in it.

“People would call me names and say I wasn’t a good player,” she told the Miami Herald. “I didn’t want anyone else to go through what I did. I want to set an example and show other kids that they can do or be anything they want.”

Like one out of every four U.S. students in 2015, Bizzotto was once a victim of bulling. By participating in this event, she inspired both her peers and herself to love who they are, in spite of what others might say about them or how hard it may be.

She told the Herald, “I’m fearless. And knowing I’m inspiring people makes me more fearless. It is hard, but that doesn’t stop me.”