We first met Veronica at Middletown Days a few years back. When she stepped up to the tire wearing flip flops, we knew she’d be a good fit! Now, she’s busting out weighted pullups, handstand pushups and topping the leaderboard regularly. Though she says she’s never referred herself as an “athlete” before, we beg to differ.
Time to put the word, “athlete” in your vocab regularly and give yourself a LOT more credit, Veronica. You’re the perfect fit for our next Athlete of the Month!
Give her a chalky high-five when you see her kicking butt at the box. Here’s her story:
Athlete of the Month: Veronica Carvalho
1. When and why did you start CrossFit?
I started doing CrossFit almost 2 ½ years ago. I was walking past the Salus booth at Middletown Day and there was a challenge set up that involved doing some burpees and flipping a tire. It looked like fun and even though I was wearing flip flops, I thought why not? I ended up winning a gift certificate for on ramp training. Although I felt like a fish out of water during those first 2 weeks, I knew it was time for a change from running on the treadmill and taking step/boot camp classes at the gym. The classes had become boring and I was stuck in a rut with my running.
Joining CrossFit was really scary at first because I felt like I couldn’t do many of the exercises or remember any of the names to all the lifts, but somehow I got hooked!
Somehow I got hooked!
2. How has your performance changed since you started CrossFit?
I’m definitely stronger and have better stamina.
CrossFit has also helped improve my 5k time.
3. Are there exercises you can do now that you couldn’t do before?
Yes! When I started CrossFit I couldn’t do a pullup and I could only do pushups on my knees. Now I not only can do pullups, but I can even do handstand pushups, and weighted chest to bar. And before CrossFit the only thing I had ever lifted were 15 lb. dumbbells.
4. How has your body physically changed since you started CrossFit?
I have always been thin and used that as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted. I had high cholesterol and really didn’t watch what I put into my body. My cholesterol has gone down. I am leaner and for the first time in my life have muscular definition.
Now I am eating cleaner and have realized how important nutrition is not only to perform, but for long term health.
5. How do you describe CrossFit to your friends?
It’s a little hard to describe, but cardio, weightlifting, and gymnastics all wrapped up in one.
It’s really challenging, but fun because every day is different and you never know what to expect.
6. What keeps you motivated to continue? What’s your “why”?
It’s rewarding to look back on how far I’ve come and I like the challenge of tackling all the things I have yet to accomplish.
7. Who inspires you?
I am in awe of all the strong mamas I get to work out with every day. Watching them accomplish their goals inspires me to continue my CrossFit journey and to keep going after “it.”
There’s nothing like having someone physically right next to you telling you that you can when you’re thinking that you can’t.
8. Favorite WOD or lift?
I don’t think it’s a secret that I like running WODs! Squats and deadlifts are fun too!
9. What advice would you give to a newbie just joining CrossFit Salus?
Don’t be discouraged when you first start. Everyone that walked through the door was once a beginner.
Be patient with the process, work hard, and you will be surprised at what you can achieve.
10. What is your next goal to accomplish?
Overcoming my fear and learning to do a handstand walk.
11. If you could design your own WOD, what would it look like?
15 chest to bar
9 front squats
12. Favorite thing to do for fun?
I like to go to the beach and explore new places, especially if it involves eating ice cream.
13. Favorite healthy dish….and favorite “cheat” meal?
I love cassava/yucca fries and can’t eat enough guacamole.
My favorite cheat is chocolate ice cream with brownie and Oreo pieces.
14. If you could be an animal who would you be and why?
A cheetah because they are fast and fierce.
15. Favorite motivational quote?
“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”
16. What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
I show up even on the days when I don’t want to and I leave my ego at the door.