Anabelle Guay will do a triathlon to promote body diversity

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Anabelle Guay will do a triathlon to promote body diversity

Anabelle Guay preparing for her sporting challenge La Grande Traversée.

A triathlon revisited to promote body diversity in outdoor activities, this is the somewhat crazy challenge that a young woman from Saint-Denis-de-Brompton has set herself. In June 2023, Anabelle Guay will travel 1,250 km by bike, on foot and by rowing. This adventure, carried out in complete autonomy, will take her from the Eastern Townships to the Magdalen Islands.

Anabelle will do the first 750 kilometers of her journey by bike. Returned to Mont Albert, in Gaspésie, she will cross the International Appalachian Trail on foot, a walk of 250 km. In Forillon, she will put her rowboat in the water with the aim of reaching the Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

A film crew will accompany Anabelle throughout this Grande Traversée. In a film, she wants to promote body diversity in outdoor activities. I have always played sports. I was always on the move, but rarely saw people who looked like me. I wasn't the first to get to the top of the mountain or the first picked on a team in high school. I wanted to put forward that it is not because we do not represent the shape of an athlete or that ;you don't go as fast as an athlete that you can't surpass and challenge yourself, she believes.

“I'm sure for some it's a limit. Me, being young, it was. I am convinced that there are plenty of young people who say to themselves: I do not resemble that norm, that physical appearance.

— Anabelle Guay

Those thoughts have even kept Anabelle from moving in the past. I thought to myself that I would not be the first arrival or I was going to slow down the group, so why would I go?

These old fears of Anabelle resonated with producer Véronique Vigneault. I think there is a lack of representation. Often, we are presented with great performance or models. This means that Mr. and Mrs. Everybody do not necessarily recognize each other.

“Yes, it& #x27;is an individual adventure, but one that has a collective impact. We want there to be outreach and spin-offs. Anabelle wants to give talks in schools. »

— Véronique Vigneault, Producer Chasseurs Film

His mentor, Mylène Paquette, a navigator who accomplished the feat of rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, was also confronted with these prejudices. It is this aspect of Anabelle's project that most charmed the rower. I think young people need role models like her. Me, I never found myself as an Instagram fashion card. I'm not necessarily round, but I felt that sometimes I didn't belong among influencers. What we see are often fit moms, people who train, thin or very muscular. But there is room for this kind of adventurer, she says.

Véronique Vigneault wants to make the documentary on Anabelle's adventure a very artistic product. We decided to stay in Quebec. For me, it was super important.

Often, with adventure films, we go to the Canadian Quest or around the world. But in Quebec, we have truly exceptional settings, sporting challenges and regions. For me, there was something beautiful and symbolic in this quest that starts in Estrie, a magnificent region, to Anabelle's roots in the Magdalen Islands.

And we do not embark on such an adventure blindly. Twice a week, Anabelle and her trainer Xavier Roy work together to make her challenge a success. Preparation is as much a part of the challenge as the challenge itself, she says.

As we progress and we get closer to his departure, we will go into more specific activities. We may do less bodybuilding, but more hiking, more cycling, and also a lot more outings on the water to work on slightly more technical aspects with the advice of Mylène Paquette, explains the kinesiologist, Xavier Roy.

“I worked in elite sport. I understand that not everyone can have the opportunity to reach this level, but that does not prevent wanting to surpass themselves physically and psychologically. »

— Xavier Roy, kinesiologist and physical trainer

It is above all the nautical crossing, in the heart of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, that Anabelle Guay fears the most. I've always had an attraction for water, but it never crossed my mind that I was going to row across the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Why does that scare me? Because it's very technical. I was told that this section was quite dangerous. I will be in the middle of the ocean, but also in a difficult section.

To achieve this, she called on ocean rower Mylène Paquette, who provided her with advice. I got involved from the beginning to find a boat, to help him demystify all the boats for sale in the world. One thing leading to another, I found myself taking on the role of mentor.

“I think it is a big challenge for her precisely because she doesn't have much sailing experience. So she has a lot to learn before she leaves, but I'm sure she'll get there. »

— Mylène Paquette, ocean rower

Anabelle could not find a better ally than Mylène Paquette who spent 129 days alone on her boat in 2013 during her Atlantic crossing. I wish him to trust himself every day and to honor the doubt. Doubt, I think we demonize it too often, but it helps us to perform better, to prove ourselves right or to question ourselves. Doubt must be brought to work with us every day. I also wish her to listen to her little voice.

Between Anabelle's big departure, in addition to training, she will try to raise $100,000. A sum that will not only be used to finance his adventure, but also to create awareness tools to keep his message alive.

To listen to Find out more here: From Sherbrooke to the Magdalen Islands by bike, on foot and by rowing

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