Updated: Jan 15
Lara Croft is a character from the video game Tomb Raider. She blazed trails by being one of the first female heroines as a protagonist in a video game. Introduced to the world in 1996 I finally met Lara in 2001 in the movie Tomb Raider. Here was a woman that was tough, independent, feminine, strong, intelligent, and unapologetic. I was in love. With the release of Tomb Raider in 2017 my admiration of this character only grew. In the latest movie we see a grittier, more realistic Croft. (While researching this post I found out they are making a sequel and I’m freaking out.) Seeing that realistic portrayal of such an amazing woman planted the idea that I could transform myself into such a woman.
Firstly, what makes Lara Croft, Lara? She’s a survivor, intelligent, capable, a problem solver, an archer, an archeologist, motorcyclist, and a strong feminine force. Let’s break those down into learnable skills.
Survivor: bush craft, first aid
Intelligent: well read, curious, studious
Capable: combat skills, rock climbing
A Problem Solver: practiced with puzzles, thinking outside of the box
An Archer: archery
Archeologist: studies cultures, religions, archeology
Strong Feminine Force: not a skill but a mind set
What does this mean for someone trying to become her? Where do you start? Firstly, understand that this character has been trained and schooled since she was a child. I’m starting this journey at 30, our paths won’t be identical.
Start with the mind shift. This is possible. Alicia Vikander transformed herself in 3 months. You can do this. Next, give yourself a timeline for each step of the journey. A timeline creates accountability. This will be up to your schedule and what aspects of Lara you want to adopt. Physical change can happen quickly but mental training can take longer.
You can start with the physical aspect so that you feel like Lara and stay inspired for the rest of the journey. You could also start with the aspect you admire most. This means you’ll conquer your biggest hill first and stay inspired with every smaller hill thereafter.
Skills I suggest learning to be more like Lara Croft:
Lara has quite the fortune. She knows how to keep it that way. By learning to handle your money responsibly you’ll be able to afford training, travel, and more to allow yourself to become Lara in a more complete way.
Lara is strong mentally and physically. Pulling yourself up and jumping great distances isn’t easy. Magnus (Alicia’s trainer) posted a series of workouts you can use to get started (link below). If you want to feel like Lara sooner, I’d suggest working on pull ups and jumping first. Don’t neglect strengthening your back and shoulders to prep for archery.
Lara is known for her bow and arrow. This is a skill that is all about repetition. You can get a simple bow and practice in your backyard or hallway. There are numerous indoor ranges you can check out once you’ve built your strength to something more powerful. I highly suggest checking out Lars Anderson to see what’s possible. He is a god of archery.
Lara has been dropped in all sorts of terrain and makes it out alive. You can start simple like how to make a fire even if the wood is wet. Learning how to make a simple structure is also important. Learn the basics and build from there. Eventually you could even make your own bow.
If you’re hurt you need to know how to take care of yourself. Basic first aid courses are available in every city and most towns. Taking this course gives you the knowledge of how to save a life. Knowing you have that ability brings confidence into your everyday life. When you keep a level head when everyone else is panicking you are forever looked at as a bad ass, trust me.
The Image of Lara with her climbing pick is iconic. You’ll need to build up your grip strength and your flexibility. Start with strength training as mentioned above and move on to bouldering (climbing laterally not far off the ground). With time and practice you’ll grow stronger and more capable and move from the kiddie routes to the black diamonds of rock-climbing courses.
This will take practice. Find a puzzle game you love. We all know chess is strategic but there are plenty of other games to try out. Playing poker will build up strategy, being able to read people, knowledge of statistics, and your ability to keep your emotions in check. Word cross is also a good choice.
This may be one of the more complex skills. To have complete knowledge it will take plenty of book study, listening to lectures, and, if you are able, traveling to your places of interest in person. Archeology includes knowledge of religion, culture, food, geography… start with the aspect that you’re most drawn to.
A motorcycle training course can cost anywhere from $200 to $400. It takes a few weeks and the bikes are usually provided. The instructors build you up slowly. With each lesson your confidence and skills will grow. Even if you don’t own a bike, you’ll leave feeling like a bad ass.
Fighting is a physical and mental challenge. There’s split second problem solving throughout every fight. Typically for women Judo is a good style to learn as it is less about brute force and more about redirection of momentum. Krav Maga is a style dedicated to efficiency and brutality. If biting your enemy’s throat is the best move, that’s what you do. Lara Croft in the games is shown to use Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Kali, Shinobi-iri, Boryaku, Intonjutsu, Chi-mon, Kayakujutsu, Sui-ren and combat shooting (link below). Find a school, Judo, or studio of your preferred style near you or look online to learn the basics at home.
Feel free to cherry pick which skills you like best. I would love to see your progress. Post about your journey and use the #trainforyourstory to join us in this crazy journey of becoming our heroes.
This blog post series, How to Live Like_______ is inspired by this desire to become my hero. If I wish to transform myself into a character I love than others must too. More posts will follow. Please feel free to let me know what characters you’d like to become or be inspired by. Thank you for reading! You can watch my video series Live the Dork on YouTube and/or follow me on Instagram @heathersstories @trainforyourstory