Veronica Wagner pushes her limits daily through CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting

Veronica Wagner pushes her limits daily through CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting

Ever since she was five years old, junior Veronica Wagner has been pouring her time and efforts into competitive gymnastics. Her love for the sport encouraged her to not hold back, and she spent up to four hours a day practicing. But in the last twelve years, Veronica has sustained many injuries, and on the whole, she has worn herself out. So this past year Veronica has taken a step back from gymnastics and decided to focus on another passion of hers: CrossFit.

CrossFit, created by Greg Glassman, is an intense fitness regimen that involves a variety of strength and aerobic exercises. In the two years that Veronica has been doing CrossFit, she has proved herself quite adept at it. She participated in her first weight-lifting competition in October and received second place for her age group. She also placed 169th for her age group in an online worldwide CrossFit competition called The Open. This has all spurred Veronica’s devotion to the sport.

“[CrossFit] pushes me mentally and physically,” Veronica said. “In gymnastics, I had mental blocks, so I couldn’t physically do stuff. Whereas, in CrossFit, I can just go for it and push it to the max.”

If Veronica continues to pursue this passion of hers, it could be a lifelong journey. Her long-term goals include becoming a CrossFit trainer, and eventually, if she becomes proficient enough, she could participate in the CrossFit games.

Veronica also does Olympic weightlifting. Next year, she hopes to make junior nationals, but first, she needs to add sixty pounds to her total, which is the combined weight for her two lifts. This won’t come easily, but Veronica is prepared to put in the necessary effort to accomplish her goals.

“I have to be committed daily to challenging myself,” Veronica said. “I [also] have to learn how to listen to my body and take rest when needed.”

Every day, Veronica spends an hour at her gym Friction CrossFit. Even when she’s feeling sore and exhausted, she drags herself to the gym. It’s always worth it because not only does her hard work pay off, but she feels at home around the people at her gym.

“My gym is pretty big,” Veronica said. “There are maybe eighty or a hundred people, and they all just cheer for you. It’s kinda like they’ll cheer more for the person who ends last [more] than the person who wins. It’s just very supportive.”

The support of her friends and family are also a key component to her success. Veronica’s family is willing to stick by her in each of her endeavors. They drive her everywhere, lovingly care for her, and consistently cheer her on. Veronica’s two best friends have stuck by her through thick and thin, always willing to offer a hand when she needs it the most.

Although weightlifting may not be the most typical sport, Veronica is heavily invested in it. She hopes that other girls like her will also be interested in CrossFit and weightlifting and that they won’t think of it as a “manly” sport.

“I want girls to know that they can lift weights and be strong,” Veronica said. “Because some of them [think] like we’re not as strong or like weightlifting would make [them] manly, but it doesn’t.”

“I want girls to know that they can lift weights and be strong. Cause some of them [think] like we’re not as strong or like weightlifting would make [them] manly, but it doesn’t.””

— Veronica Wagner

Participating in CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting requires a significant amount of determination and both mental and physical strength. Veronica doesn’t let this scare her away though. She intends to continue pursuing her dreams for as far ahead into the future as she can see.

“I try to enjoy the journey and set my own personal goals,” Veronica said, “but the most important thing is to have fun.”