THE healing power of exercise has helped mother-of-two Jenae Abel conquer her mental demons.
Now that she is fitter than ever, she is tackling the frankly insane Tough Mudder obstacle course event at Phillip Island this Saturday.
Ms Abel will take part in the event as part of a six-strong team from Anytime Fitness.
The course involves running through a trench of straw that is — literally — on fire, as well as a field of live wires, just two of at least 28 obstacles on the 20-kilometre course.
Ms Abel says that’s all part of the deal.
“Every time I finish a work out, it feels so good,” the 27-year old said.
“That feeling will be so much better after I’ve climbed this mountain.”
Ms Abel was clinically depressed for a year after the birth of her second child and divorce from her husband.
It was while she was living the life of a single mum that she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a personal trainer.
She said graduating from Wodonga TAFE last year had been “one of the greatest moments of my life”.
“Focusing on a career gave my life much more direction,” she said.
“From that point on, I began to feel better and found much more satisfaction in life.
“Getting fit, doing the things I wanted to do with my life — the last year has amazing and I couldn’t be happier.”
Her girls, Savannah, 5, and Caprice, 3, now enjoy a mum who comes running on the playground with them.
“I’m 27, but, right now, I feel like I’m twelve years old,” Ms Abel said.
“I don’t feel restricted any more, and a lot of that has to do with having a healthy body and a healthy mind.”
“Losing weight and working out isn’t just about physical health, it can make a real difference to mental health.”