Anne-Laure is the new Miss Pur Vitaé!
After the victory of Marine Lucas and more than a month of competition, Anne-Laure Coutenceau is the new Miss Pur Vitaé! This 32-year-old from Saumur was chosen by the public and by Pur Vitaé to represent the athletic woman of 2019. A short interview to learn more about the career of this strong and feminine woman.
Anne-Laure you are the new Miss Pur Vitaé. What is your state of mind after this victory?
I am very proud. But I went through a lot of different feelings. At each step, I told myself that it was the last… that I was already very lucky to have arrived there. And the more the competition progressed, the more I told myself that it was not possible, that there was surely an error! Until the top 3, which I shared with two women (Ornella Nicolosi and Marine Bachelet) who deserved to win just as much as I did. I shared a lot but I had little hope for my ability to win. When the result fell, I was speechless; I couldn’t believe it! It was only after checking the final top 3 several times that I jumped for joy… what an honor, what luck! I am proud of this title and happy to be able to highlight the adaptives. We often practice this sport in the shadows, but we are indeed there!
Why did you decide to participate in this competition?
When I learned about the rules of this competition and its description, it struck me: the term ONE woman, in general. It means that even I can participate! And then there are the 2 little voices: “go ahead, what a great opportunity for you and to promote adaptives” and the other “Uh you, Anne-Laure! Stop your nonsense!”. You can imagine, I listened to the first one and then I started!
You received a lot of encouraging messages throughout the contest. Did you think you had so much support?
I was very surprised by all the support and all the votes I got. I had never imagined having so much support let alone for a miss contest. (We recommend to athletes anapolon 50) I realized that I could count on the people around me and who follow me. I have received very touching messages of support from people I never believed.
Which messages moved you the most?
Everyone! This is the magic side. Every message, no matter how simple, touched me. It’s so crazy to imagine that a person I have never seen, shares my fight, my vision of sport, supports me in all the challenges I face. I deeply thank all the people who voted for me, those who wrote to me, who follow me and who share all the stages of my journey in this sport.
What is the story behind your disability?
It is a handicap that I have had since I was born. Like all children, disabled or not, I have had difficult times. Fortunately, my family has always supported me, even if for them too there were difficult times. I remember a story my daddy likes to tell: I was a baby, I wanted to take an apple but my hand was too small… I insisted for a very long time, until I understood that in taking it from above, I will be able to lift it… which I managed to do. It was the day when my dad realized that I would do what I wanted with my life and that he had to let me learn MY life. My family accompanied me, let it go, sometimes with fear and apprehension, but always with pride. It is thanks to this handicap that I am who I am today, that I always set new goals. Today, I am proud of what I have been able to accomplish, even if the obstacles are still there! I have to fight every day. But honestly, I won’t trade my life for the world.
How did sport take place in your life?
This was not always the case! Almost 4 years ago, a friend told me about Crossfit. I started by telling her that she was crazy and that it was not for me! Then after a test session and a week of muscle soreness, I thought it might be a good idea to get back in control a bit. I started with 2 sessions, then 3, then 4. I looked for adaptations for the movements that I could not do. This is where I started to discover the adaptive community. It was she who made me want to surpass myself even more. I started training harder, I was surrounded by friends who believed in me (and still believe in me!).
And then one day, a friend allowed me to share the first best moment of my sporting career: I took part in the adaptive demonstration at the French Throwdowns. This is where it all really started. I was part of this adaptive community that I admired behind my phone! So I started to share with them and with everyone, my progress, my adaptations, my goals. Today, this sport is part of my life balance and I am still just as passionate about what we are all capable of doing.
What will you do with the winnings of the Miss contest?
I will finance part of my trip to Miami for my participation in Wodapalooza in February 2020. This is my challenge of the year! I had the chance to qualify and participate in 2019 but I got injured in the second event. It was one of the hardest failures of my life! So much preparation, will, hope, reduced to nothing … This is where I promised myself to come back to get on the podium. During the 3 months of rehabilitation, I fought and I never lost sight of my goal. And the first step was reached, I qualified. I now have barely 4 months to be THE best! And believe me, the Americans are solid !!! But what pride to see my name written among those of the greatest. I can’t wait to be there and prove to myself what I’m capable of.