Pushing beyond limits

Beaulieu reflects on competing for Team Atlantic

Having helped the Moncton Vipers to the 2012 Maritime Women’s Football League title, Marie-Noelle Beaulieu had a season to remember. Playing both offense and defense, Beaulieu would finish her season as an MWFL All-Star selection.

While her position is outside linebacker, Beaulieu enhanced her game by competing as a running back and at the strong safety position. The position would prove to be of great importance to Beaulieu. At the 2012 National Challenge Cup in Laval, Quebec, Beaulieu would compete at strong safety for Team Atlantic.

The change would pay dividends for Beaulieu as she was named to the Canadian National Team that shall compete at the 2013 Women’s World Championships in Finland. Although the change in position was a key benefit for Beaulieu’s strong performance with Team Atlantic, the aspect of team building and adapting to other coaching techniques was essential.

“What was great about playing on a provincial team (like Team Atlantic) was that coaches came from various teams in the Maritimes shared their knowledge with us. It was useful to be coached by other individuals as it broadens your skills as a player. Then we could take that additional knowledge back to our local teams and better the level of play across the entire league.”

In preparing for Team Atlantic, Beaulieu worked tirelessly to push herself beyond her limits. One aspect that she employed was CrossFit training. Emerging as a popular fitness trend, CrossFit provided Beaulieu with the training tool she required to provide a top notch performance for Team Atlantic.

“I pushed myself beyond limits I had even thought possible. The required discipline was both regarding my efforts in the gym, on the field, as well as for sticking to my food plan.

CrossFit workouts are intense. You do not stop. The workouts are ever changing, therefore your body never knows what to expect. The conditioning I obtain from these types of workouts does not compare to any other types of training I had even done in the past.”

Although it was Team Quebec that would emerge as the 2012 National Champions, the opportunity to compete against players from throughout Canada enhanced the experience. In addition, many of them would eventually be named to the National Team along with Beaulieu.

“The 2012 National Championship was incredible. Seeing the tremendous talent from all the Canadian female football players was impressive. The games were intense! I personally enjoyed the fact that the defense could blitz from anywhere on the field!

Having grown up in the suburbs of Montreal, the National Challenge Cup represented a homecoming. As a teenager, Beaulieu had competed on a flag football team which was coached by Saadia Ashraf, the starting quarterback for the Montreal Blitz (and a selection to the Canadian National Team). Returning to her home province as an elite football player was highly cherished.

“Being able to play the sport that I love in my home province, in front of my family and friends, against some of the people who gave me my love for football was unbelievable.

For me, the experience of playing on Team Atlantic went beyond the football field. My lifestyle was completely turned around in order to achieve the goal of not only making Team Atlantic, but ultimately, to be selected as part of the Canadian Women’s football team.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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