Vanity….

….It’s a start, but how will you finish?

No doubt we all want to look better in our swim suit, in a wedding dress or in no clothes at all.  In many cases this desire drives people to start going to the gym, eating better or even venture into the local CrossFit box.  With the best of intentions we start into a routine of exercise and sensible eating.  Typically we give it a good 3-6 months of quality effort, I am being generous here, see some results and feel pretty good about ourselves.  Unfortunately that is where it ends in most cases.  Vanity itself is too superficial to keep us motivated to accept a lifetime of health and fitness.  It can be a start, but in no way is it ever the end.   There is good reason; there should be no end to health and fitness.  It needs to be a lifetime pursuit.  The question then becomes, “What’s the motivation?”  How do we talk ourselves into grilling free range chicken and laying it over an organic green salad with olive oil and avocado when the Dominos guy is on speed dial and that fully loaded pie goes great with the beer and NBA Finals game you are about flip on the TV?

I don’t have all the answers but I can share with you my experience, which started with vanity.  Almost four years ago after my daughter was born I saw myself in a photo holding her in the swimming pool and I was revolted by what I saw.  That coupled with my brother’s wedding six months away in Puerto Vallarta I decided to make a change.  I was going to get ripped!  I played sports throughout high school and college I knew what needed to be done.  Eating right and exercise were in my foreseeable future.  I hit my vanity goals, by the end of the year I was in good shape for my brother’s wedding.  I remember thinking after the wedding, “I want to keep this thing going!”  At that moment I realized something was different this time, it wasn’t just about me.  I want to be a good role model for my daughter I want her to understand that good nutrition and an active lifestyle are important.  I continued to pursue health and fitness, only now it was different, it was followed by research, studying, reading, a constant quest for knowledge about how different foods affect your body, how food helps your performance, how to train for performance rather than just working out or exercising.  This all came to a head in 2011 when I found CrossFit.  I saw a posting on Facebook for a 24 hour endurance WOD, for some reason it sounded like a challenge I wanted to be a part of.  I called the phone number, reserved a spot and showed up at CrossFit Scottsdale to workout, eat and occasionally nap with about 30 people I had never met before for 24 consecutive hours!  What I found changed everything again.

I found the athlete I always wanted to be, I found community and most importantly I found friends.  CrossFit made me feel like I did when I played sports as a kid and young adult.  It made me feel strong, powerful and in control of my life.  It transformed diet and exercise into nutrition and training.  Believe me, there is a difference!  Almost instantly I was surrounded by people who cared about this stuff as much as I do.  Diet and exercise wasn’t just something these people do to look good, although we are a good looking bunch if I say so myself, it was a way of life.  Proper nutrition was the foundation for the next WOD, it was the foundation for competition and really the foundation for life.  It was certainly the training and challenge aspect that drew me into CrossFit and CrossFit Scottsdale, but the community has kept me here.  When you were a kid you made new friends daily, as a teenager weekly and as a young adult maybe a new friend every 6 months to a year.  As you progress into your 30’s making new friends does not happen quite so often.  I have made so many new friends in my year at CrossFit Scottsdale it really is hard to believe sometimes.  I thank every single one of you for accepting me when I came through the doors the first time.  It matters, and your commitment to our community matters.

I leave you with this.  Committing to a lifestyle of health and fitness provides you with freedom.  Freedom to take a hike, ride your bike with your kids, play pickup basketball,  go surfing, swim in the ocean, play football on the beach, play Frisbee, take up rowing, run a marathon or even take your shirt off at the pool!

Thanks to all my friends at CrossFit Scottsdale for helping me pursue my passion!

~Josh Wagner