The Marines got into CrossFit in slightly different ways.
For Wagner, it started when she was stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Her now-husband and his friends were into functional fitness, and she said she finally went to the gym just to “shut them up,” but she quickly fell in love with the sport.
She first competed in 2012 and made it to the regional CrossFit games in Korea, where she qualified for the main championship held each year in California.
“It is incredible because I get paid to do what I like,” she said.
Drescher started CrossFit-style workouts about the same time she joined the Marine Corps. She eventually become a coach at a local gym while studying exercise science at the University of Louisville. In 2011, between her junior and senior year, she attended Officer Candidates School to become a third-generation Marine. She immediately began outperforming her peers in physical tasks, she said, highlighting how functional fitness can make Marines better.
By 2012 she was participating in regional CrossFit competitions. She became a member of the NPGL in 2014.
Getting to the professional league wasn’t easy for either of them. Only the strongest were invited to compete again after initial tryouts. Then they faced a draft similar to that which the National Football League uses.
Wagner became the top draft pick for the inaugural season in a league populated by other professional athletes.