February 3rd, 2015
This past December, powersport enthusiast website What A Ride unveiled a contest to ride with a young MMA fighter from Sturgeon Falls in Northeastern Ontario, Canada. That fighter was Mitch Gagnon, who would go on to fight Renan Barao in Brazil on December 20th, 2014.
As Mitch’s training program was extreme to say the least, What a Ride and Mitch collaborated on setting up a ride where he could cool off in and around his home town with one lucky MMA fan by hitting the trails on snowmobiles.
The contest rules stated that anyone could enter – all they had to do was post a picture of themselves on social media, hard at work, showing why they should share a well-deserved rest with Mitch on the snowmobile trails of Ontario, Canada and use the hashtag #WinTheBraap. Mitch also sported the hashtag on his shorts during his fight with Renan.
#WinTheBraap Contest Winner Announced
The decision to bring Laura to Northern Ontario to sled with Mitch was not lightly come to. But Laura’s incredible story of a hardworking family that demonstrated incredible strength and character to come back from numerous injuries while juggling the duties of life, work and family brought her to the top of the list.
But what is perhaps even more striking about Laura is that even after being told of her winning entry, she’d said “There were so many good entries – so many hard working, deserving people out there,” honouring the dozens of incredible entries received in this contest – for just a few, check out the #WinTheBraap hashtag on your favourite social network.
In an interview, Laura shared that she hadn’t been sledding since she was 15, and hadn’t had a real break since the birth of her second child. Perhaps the most inspiring aspect of her story is that after giving birth and recurring injuries, she used the sport of Thai kickboxing, otherwise known as Muay Thai to get her back on her feet, both spiritually and physically.
“After my first class I could barely walk or lift my children, but something in me told me I had to keep going” Laura told What a Ride. And keep at it she did – within three months she had dropped 45 lbs, her waistline had reduced drastically and she saw a different face in the mirror – showing that anyone can take on the challenge, if they’ll only try. She continues to regularly attends classes, sometimes up to six times a week.
“We’re huge MMA fans – the whole family watches the fights, and learning Muay Thai has let me really enjoy the sport on another level. When we saw Mitch fight our hearts and minds were with him in Brazil and I can’t wait for the chance to meet him in person. I’m also super excited to see some of the trails up North!”
The ride is scheduled for early March on the trails of Northeastern Ontario, Mitch’s home region and one of the earliest regions in Ontario to open their snowmobile trails.
For more information, please contact What a Ride at the number below.
What A Ride