When Veronica Card first started weightlifting three years ago, she kind of hated it.
Three weeks ago, she crushed her first powerlifting competition, squatting 275 pounds; bench pressing 170 pounds; and deadlifting 358 pounds. She nabbed first place with a Wilks score of 397 in the 63-kg weight class.
“I hated sports,” she said, laughing. “I hated running when I started. But I really hated feeling weak in the gym.”
A mother of two boys, Veronica said she tried couch to 5Ks and she warmed up to running.
“I ran because I was competitive,” she said. “It got me out of the house and active.”
She gave weightlifting a shot after her husband began a beginner strength training program.
“I hit 95 pounds on bench press really quick,” she said. “My husband was impressed with how much I was lifting. Then I was able to do chip-ups and I realized I could tell that I was getting stronger. Then I was hooked.”
Strong Mom goals
I started lifting because: The transition to motherhood was hard. I had my first baby when I was 21. I went from living in my parents’ house to living with my boyfriend (now husband) and I was pregnant a month later. My life moved fast.
When my oldest was born, there was a shock factor and it was really hard. I definitely had some postpartum depression that first year. I was one of those girls who could eat McDonalds for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and not gain a pound. After having a baby, my body changed for the first time.
I got into lifting a few months before I got pregnant with my second baby. Once I realized I could actually be good at something, I started enjoying life again.
My goal for lifting is: To constantly remind myself that I can conquer the seemingly impossible.
Since I started lifting, I’ve learned: That I’m capable of so much more than I thought possible, and that my body is amazing in many regards. The things I’ve learned from lifting have encouraged me to be confident in all other aspects of life.
Proudest lifting moment: Well, it used to be my 300-pound squat. Now, it’s my first-place finish in my first powerlifting meet.
Any PRs to brag about: My 300-pound squat, 365-pound deadlift, and a 185-pound bench. 😄 Powerlifting is all about the big 3.
Biggest lifting challenge I’ve faced: Well, this summer had been one big test for me. I signed up for my first competition, then immediately got injured. Two kids birthdays, a trip to the ER for my husband, Hurricane Harvey, and the purchase of a new home later, and I’m surprised I’ve managed to lift consistently through it all. This competition was also big for me.
On being a mom
Did you lift during your pregnancies? I didn’t lift during my first pregnancy, but I did during my second and it was easier by far.
My goal for being a mom is: To raise confident, loving, happy children.
Since becoming a mom, I’ve learned: That I don’t know anything! There are CONSTANT challenges in parenting. I suppose I’ve learned to stop living with the illusion of being in control. I’ve also learned a new love I never thought possible, and that my deep down gut feeling is always right. Maternal intuition is powerful.
How do you balance lifting and raising a family? With ease! We have a home gym and it’s the best investment we’ve ever made!
What activities do you like to do with your kiddo(s)? We like to go for walks, explore nature, play board games, and pretend to be emergency vehicles. That’s the current favorite game.
What is your favorite “active” memory with them so far? I did a color run with my oldest in a stroller and my youngest in my belly. That was fun. My 3 yr old LOVES to imitate me lifting, it’s adorable. He’s my gym buddy.
If you could do it all again, you would: Change NOTHING. I think who I am today is all a product of my past. Even the tough times have shaped me to be who I am today.
Favorite quote: “I bottle fed, and I breastfed, and before I knew it they we’re all eating stale french fries off the floor of the minivan and I was like, whatever thanks for cleaning.” 😂😂😂 sorry, I can’t think of any great motivational quotes.
Favorite lift: DEADLIFT!
Three words that describe me: Determined, optimistic, empathetic
When I’m not in the gym, you can find me: Hanging out with the kids at home or drawing portraits. Always drinking coffee.
Any advice you want to share to moms who lift or are interested in lifting? Don’t give up when it gets hard. Don’t give up when you fail. YOU WILL FAIL. The best part is yet to come, when you try again and succeed. THAT’S when it gets fun.
Follow Veronica on Instagram: @southernbarbellefitness
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