MUNCIE, IN—The national Ms. Health and Fitness competition draws thousands of athletes every year to compete for national recognition and to benefit Homes for Wounded Warriors. This year, a Muncie resident is in the running for the title.
Michele Owen had never run a race and could barely swim before deciding to train for Muncie’s 2021 Ironman 70.3. The grueling triathlon consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile run, and then a 13.1 mile run within 8 1/2 hours. Owen trained 12 times a week for 11 months to be able to finish the race, and then went on to complete a full 140.6 mile Ironman the following year.
Now, Owen is using the Ms. Health and Fitness competition as a platform to discuss eating disorders, female athleticism, and what the human body is capable of. In 2021, harmful narratives about nutrition and female body image led Owen to drop to a dangerously low weight and develop a severe iron deficiency. “I made so many mistakes by following advice that wasn’t specific to my needs…. I want to help other women rewrite harmful narratives that lead to unhealthy lifestyles,” Owen’s profile reads. “When we pursue Strong instead of Skinny, we can discover just how much the female body can do!”
Owen has advanced to the quarterfinals round along with other women in the top 1% of the competition. Votes are gathered through Facebook, where anyone can cast one free vote per day, or donate to benefit the Homes for Wounded Warriors charity. Semi-finals and Finals will conclude by July 6th, with the national winner announced July 11.
Read more of Michele’s story and vote at https://mshealthandfitness.com/2023/michele-3.
Michele Owen is Director of Communications for the City of Muncie.