We had the good fortune of connecting with Candice Wagner and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Candice, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I am big on goal setting. Whether I am trying to improve the connection I share with my family and friends, working to refine my lifestyle habits, or building a thriving business, goal setting has allowed me to achieve some pretty incredible things in my life thus far. But, I don’t think that goal setting is very effective when you simply know what you want to accomplish. I think it’s important to have a strong vision and to know WHY these goals are important to me. I ask myself where I want to be in 1, and even 10 years from now, and what it will feel like when I accomplish these goals? And more importantly, what will it feel like if I DON’T accomplish these goals. Attaching my why via emotion makes me work harder to stay on course when life gets hard.

Please tell us more about your career. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. 
I was teased a lot when I was young. I was teased for being athletic, for being more masculine than other girls, for being “flat-chested.” I was teased for being me. When I was really young, I loved to roll in the dirt, to wear my dads military swag, build forts in the woods, and play sports with the boys. I never liked dolls and I never willingly “dressed like a girl” as much as my mom loved to dress me to fit in anyway. I had my pants pulled down by boys who wanted to humiliate me and I was physically attacked by a group of my closest friends, including my best friend, when I first came out in 6th grade. On multiple occasions, my athleticism was negatively called out in front of my peers. I remember spiking a volleyball during PE class and a boy shouted out at me in front of the class, “You play like a GUY!” He had this incredible look of disgust on his face I’ll never forget. I was so embarrassed. So, PE evolved from my favorite class to my least favorite and I began showing up just for the minimum grade. I began suppressing who I really am for fear of judgment. I was teased for looking like a boy, walking like a boy, acting like a boy… and to be completely honest, I often began to wish that I was a boy. I was so tired of being judged for being different. And I was tired of being judged for being me. But as an adult, I have learned that my athleticism and the focus I’ve developed from it are some of my greatest strengths. That some of my biggest accomplishments in life thus far are because of these same strengths and I don’t think I would be the person I am today without those challenges. I might not have served 5 years of active duty service in the United States Marine Corps. I might not have qualified and competed as an individual competitor at the 2010, 2012, and in 2016 CrossFit Games. I might not have won Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge and his special All-Star episode. And I might not be on the path to helping others live longer, happier, healthier lives here at CrossFit Iron Horse either. I believe that the hardships I faced as a child, in my adulthood, and those that will come in the future are blessings in disguise. I believe that I always have two choices when times get tough; to allow adversity and fear to cripple me or to embrace challenges head on, to find the lessons, in an effort to learn, grow, and evolve into the best possible version of me.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I really love the Magnolia, University, and downtown Fort Worth area. Nothing beats a great brunch with friends, an awesome Bloody Mary, and a little sunlight.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The community of CrossFit Iron Horse has been there for me like no other. I have always been a very disciplined person and fitness has always been a big part of my life, but just over a year ago, the punches of life were testing my resiliency. Life was incredibly difficult for me for about two years. From a legal battle for the business, divorce, my father having a heart attack, and even the loss of a nephew, I stopped taking care of myself and I wanted to disappear forever… and they saw that. They recognized that I was struggling, that I needed them more than ever, and they picked me up and helped me get back up on my feet and I am forever grateful for them. I love our community so much!

Website: www.crossfitironhorse.com
Instagram: Personal: @candicewagner_21 / Business: @cfironhorse
Facebook: Personal: https://www.facebook.com/candicewagner21/ Business: https://www.facebook.com/cfironhorse

Image Credits
Video of self in first. Jack O’Neil (second image)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.