Steinbach’s own Anna Berg competed at Fit II Fight Armsports League’s heavyweight arm wrestling competition in Moose Jaw.
There, she won the Women’s Pro Left Arm 154lbs Plus Class.
“It came as a surprise to me. I didn't think it would come to me this soon. I knew I wanted to build like that ever since I started arm wrestling, but I didn't think it would come this quickly. I guess the work I put into it just paid for itself," Berg says.
Her journey to the win speaks of triumph and perseverance.
Growing up, Berg faced challenges such as trauma and mental health issues, including being diagnosed with bipolar, PTSD and postpartum depression.
“My trauma was starting to affect everyone around me, including myself. I was diagnosed with bipolar. I had been diagnosed with PTSD based on the trauma I experienced as a teenager. I was kicked out at 15 and was homeless for a couple of years before I met my husband. There was a lot of stuff going on in that time that just made me confused," she says.
Becoming a mother of two came with even more challenges.
“And then also my postpartum depression after having my children was severe. I had paranoia, depression, and I had suicidal thoughts. I had all kinds of mental things that were coming against me. The more I wanted help, the more it seemed like everything was against me. I was on medication. I was also afraid of everything that could possibly help me because I didn't understand it, right?” she explains.
However, with the help of sports and her husband, Billy, she discovered the light at the end of the tunnel.
“When I finally decided to start arm wrestling, it somehow sparked something inside of me that I didn't know was there. It gave me purpose again. It gave me a drive again. It gave me something to work towards, and with my husband's help, guidance and patience with me and everything that he's done for me to get to this point, I don't struggle with any of those mental health issues. All I struggle with right now is just a bit of insecurity. I don't even know how to put it into words, how much it saved my life,” she says.
Aside from competing in heavyweight arm wrestling competitions, Berg and her husband are owners and distributors of NatFIT Manitoba, a nutritional supplement company.
“NatFIT has been a great help to us as well. When you set up a new business and you don't have any business background, it's tough to get started. So, we're trying to hold on, and we're trying to keep going,” she says.
They have walked the journey of mental health, weight loss and competing together.
Looking towards the future, Berg says she's eyeing bodybuilding and possibly getting into strongman competitions. However, her current focus is arm wrestling.
Berg adds that they have an upcoming event for the community.
“We have a huge event that we're setting up for March 25th at The Edge Lounge in Steinbach, and we're competing to qualify for the East vs. West Worlds Tournament in Europe,” Berg says. “All are welcome to spectate. All are welcome to try their arms out. We're looking for sponsorships. We're looking for people who believe in us and who can make this thing a reality for us.”
With files from Corny Rempel.