PARAMUS, N.J. — Veronica Oliveros of Paramus stood under the chin-up bar at Great White CrossFit and considered pulling herself up.
She’d joined the gym in January 2015 but had yet to attempt the exercise.
Encouraged by her coaches and fellow athletes at the Hackensack facility, Oliveros mustered up all of her mental and physical strength, and hoisted herself up onto the bar.
“I was shocked,” said Oliveros, 30, a mom of two. “But I don’t see myself as being different from anyone else.”
Oliveros, a nurse at HackensackUMC, says anyone can do it.
The mom of two first started CrossFit at the suggestion of a friend. She’d recently given birth to her second child and was looking to shed the approximately 70 pounds she’d gained during the pregnancy.
At first, Oliveros wasn’t convinced CrossFit was for her.
“I’m not that athletic, I didn’t want to get hurt and I was so out of shape,” she said. “But everything was scaled and the coaches [Steve and Tara Ramos] were very accommodating.”
Fast forward several months and Oliveros was scouting out CrossFit gyms on a Carribbean vacation with her family… more than 50 pounds lighter.
Oliveros came in second place at an in-house competition at the gym.
“I had my shoes off, I really didn’t think I would win,” she said. “But then they called my name… I really couldn’t believe it.”
Great White athletes range from 11 to 60 years old and are all different shapes and sizes, Oliveros said.
She, along with several others, have become addicted to the once-intimidating sport.
What she likes most about it CrossFit is that it’s helped her set an example for her kids.
“My son goes around telling people his mom is strong,” she said.
And she is.
“You’re always working toward something,” she said. “Always getting better.”