Sara Vogler's CrossFit Journey to Resilience

Sara Vogler's CrossFit Journey to Resilience

By Shannon Del Prince

When asked to choose one word to describe herself, Sara Vogler chose “resilience.”

Photo courtesy of Sara Vogler

By embracing her resilience, Sara Vogler has been able to overcome the obstacles she has faced in her life. Sara Vogler was born in Krakow, Poland. When she was born, she was diagnosed with Thrombocytopenia and Absent Radius Syndrome (TARS), a rare but severe genetic disorder.

TARS is a disorder that leads to low levels of platelets in the blood and the absence of the radius bone in the forearm.

Being born with TARS causes significant impairment to a person’s mobility within their arms and hands.

Vogler’s Discovery of CrossFit

Four years ago, when Vogler was twenty-nine years old, she discovered CrossFit and realized how empowered it made her feel. Throughout her life, Vogler struggled with feeling included in fitness spaces.

Sara got her first jumping pull-ups during the 2021 CrossFit Open

Gyms and fitness classes are not always accessible for people with limited mobility, so Vogler felt reluctant at first when her sister urged her to give CrossFit a try. 

“I was hesitant at first because I wasn’t sure I would be able to do some of the workouts,” Vogler stated while reflecting on her introduction to the world of CrossFit. “Now I look forward to tracking my progress and seeing where I was the day before compared to where I’m at today.” After trying her first CrossFit session at her sister’s gym in Denver, Colorado, Colfax Strong Strength and Conditioning, Vogler felt empowered and immediately joined her local CrossFit community in Washington D.C. 

CrossFit provides an inclusive space for all individuals wanting to gain strength and live a more active lifestyle. Vogler has been able to find her inner strength and motivation thanks to the welcoming environment created by the CrossFit community. 

Photo courtesy of Sara Vogler

“CrossFit has taught me that there is no one that doesn’t belong in a CrossFit community or a CrossFit space. There is room for all of us,” said Vogler when asked to give advice to other athletes with TARSA or mobility-impairing disabilities. “If you’re feeling nervous, talking to a coach before class and introducing yourself and your situation can help ease your mind before entering a CrossFit space.”

Vogler’s involvement in the CrossFit community has allowed her to strengthen her body and push herself to new limits every day. Recently, Vogler surprised herself at this year’s CrossFit Open when she successfully completed jumping pull-ups on her first attempt. She even partakes in competitions now and came in 36thplace out of 64 women in the 2021 Open. 

CrossFit’s Benefits for Disabled Athletes

Photo Courtesy of Sara Vogler

CrossFit is an excellent place for disabled athletes looking to improve their relationships with their bodies or gain strength. People who face mobility struggles similar to Sara Vogler’s will find CrossFit gyms to be inclusive, supportive, and inspiring.

Vogler has found that even on her off days, she can turn to her CrossFit community for motivation.

“If I am feeling off or not having a good day, I just go to class, and I am encouraged by the other people around me to do my very best,” said Vogler.

“CrossFit always reminds me of my inner strength and that things aren’t as hard as I make them out to be in my head.” 

Photo Courtesy of Sara Vogler

The CrossFit environment is often full of laughter, fun, and support, making it a welcoming environment for athletes who struggle to feel included in traditional gym environments.  CrossFit provides a safe and inclusive space for athletes with mobility impairment to push their limits and build their strength,

What’s Next for Sara Vogler?

Every day, Vogler continues to train and push her body to new limits. She has recently celebrated her fourth anniversary of beginning her CrossFit training and has been achieving her goals of becoming a competitive CrossFit athlete. Her next goal is to compete in Wodapalooza in Miami, Florida. Vogler’s family and peers constantly provide her the support and motivation she needs to chase her dreams of becoming a successful, award-winning athlete.

Thanks to CrossFit, Vogler has discovered her inner strength and resilience, allowing her to push herself to limits she never imagined she could reach.

Follow Sara's journey on Instagram

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