She didn't exactly know what she was getting herself into, but Veronica Miller decided to tag along anyway. Once she got there, it was only a matter of minutes before she realized this judo thing could be a lot of fun.
"A friend convinced me to go to one of his practices," Miller says. "They let me throw this guy who was twice my size. I was, like, I kind of like this. That's usually what happens with the sports I'm into. I go to watch, and if I'm interested, I'll give it a try. If I'm not good at it, I'll move along to something else."
That was five years ago, during her junior year at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. As it turned out, Miller was pretty good at judo. Competing in the 147-pound class, it took her only one semester to climb into the national rankings.
When she graduated from college and competitive judo outlets became tougher to find, Miller moved on to the next thing--running triathlons. But, as she eventually found out, there was a problem. "Triathletes don't really lift heavy," Miller says. "I enjoyed races, but I enjoy lifting, too. I wanted to do both, but you really can't."
It was while watching a friend compete in a local bodybuilding event that Miller found the perfect fit in figure competitions. In just four outings, Miller has proven to be a quick study, as she recently narrowly missed out on her pro card at the 2007 Junior Nationals by placing second in her class, before placing sixth at the NPC USA Figure Championships in Las Vegas.
She'll resume her quest for a pro card in 2008 at the NPC Junior USA in Charleston, South Carolina. Hopefully for her fellow contestants, she'll leave the hip tosses back in her home state of Louisiana.
FOCUS, GRASSHOPPER "My experience in judo has helped me a lot in figure. Having that background taught me how to be patient and wait for results, because they don't always come quickly. The key is focusing and concentrating on one goal. Do that and you'll see results."
TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT "Most people don't push themselves--they put limitations on themselves. I'll try anything, because you can't say you can't do something unless you try."
INSPIRATION "My mom passed away of a heart attack in 2005. She was always my motivator to keep going on, never give up, never stop doing what you're doing."
GET OUT "I have two sisters and one brother. We were never ones to stay home and watch TV. My mom always took us walking, and encouraged us to live a healthy lifestyle. It was always ingrained in us to take care of ourselves and be healthy."
HARD CHARGER "When I do something, especially when it's sports related, it's all or nothing. I want to be good at it right away. Of course, everybody does. I'm competitive, but you have to have other qualities to go along with that. Perseverance, endurance--the things that keep you going when you don't want to go anymore are just as important."
BY ALLAN DONNELLY
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TERRY GOODLAD
RELATED ARTICLE: VERONICA'S STATS
Birthdate September 18, 1981
Birthplace Crowley, Louisiana
Current residence Lafayette, Louisiana
Contest weight 128 pounds
Career highlights 2006 NPC Southern Classic, 2nd, class E; 2007 NPC Junior Nationals, 2nd, class E
Web site veronicamiller.com
Source Citation:Donnelly, Allan. "It's Miller time: former judo competitor Veronica Miller throws herself into a new sport--figure.(Body SHOP)." Flex 26.1 (March 2008): 268(5). Academic OneFile. Gale. BROWARD COUNTY LIBRARY. 29 Aug. 2009
Gale Document Number:A175588739
Disclaimer:This information is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for professional care.
United States Judo Association - USJA
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