By: Leo Fontana
Life can change constantly, from being a crazy teenager to growing old with a family, it always throws you a curveball that you need to learn how to adapt from and get the best out of it.
As many of us are health and fitness fanatics, these curveballs sometimes can make us make some changes towards our fitness goals and health lifestyle that weren’t in our plans when we first decided to lift some weights and eat some healthy foods.
Having a WHY we do things the way we do can make our lives easier. It can lead us to make the best decision towards life’s curveballs. It makes things clear and motivates us to do the “right thing”, whatever that is for the individual, depending on their WHY. An example of that can be the reason why someone starts exercising and eating healthy, for most is for body composition changes, if their why is strong enough and meaningful enough, they will do whatever it takes to find time to exercise, they will pick better food choices when it comes to decide between a burger and fries or a slada, they know why they are “sacrificing” certain things to get to their end goal, faster and stronger than most. If someones “why” is not clear enough or strong enough ,they will most likely have excuses to pick the better choice to get to the end goals, they will choose the burger more times than the salad, they will say they are too busy to exercise, they will not care about getting the enough amounts of sleep a night and the list goes on and on.
I personally experience a big “why” change and decided to share with you guys in hopes to inspire some and to help you clarify your own “why”, to also tell you it is okay if your why has changed since the beginning of your fitness journey and that it most likely will change again.
My “why” when I first started my first gym experience was when I was about 14 years old, my mom let me signed up for a gym membership because little Leo wanted to play basketball in the USA and making sure that since I wasn’t tall enough I needed to be stronger and faster than most. I wanted to jump higher and run faster than other players and leave no doubt that I would always try my hardest. My “why” back then was clearer than Lake Tahoe water. I continually had that reason to exercise until my 20th birthday and when I graduated from my Junior College with an associate’s degree. After that I joined the University of Nevada and my competitive basketball career was over, that when my new “WHY” started to change, my new one was, well “chicks” aka ladies. Every college male was in the gym to look better naked, so they could impress the ladies. Believe or not this is still a WHY among pretty much every University in the world, you gotta be looking Jacked and Tan by spring break.
I always put my best effort on the weights but still wouldn’t have that dreamy 6 pack that some other guys had, that was when I found the importance of diet, with good and smart mentors around me at the time they introduced me to the Paleo diet and so then I finally started realizing the importance of nutrition along with my weights routine. It was not easy, cooking became harder and more time consuming and at times it didn’t taste as good as an easy pizza or a delicious burger or a daily dose of the steak and cheese subway 12 inch sandwich. However, having friends that were pretty disciplined on their diet and we all had the same “WHY”, it was a change that I knew that was game changer. Passed forward a couple years I found Crossfit, I always hated all of those chuck wearing, loud, fake pull up guys on the corner of the gym, I hated how they had be dropping their weights all the time and how they did Legs everyday, who does that?! Well they were always so nice and they finally convinced me to do this competition called Welded Open (2012), I signed up and asked when they wanted to be there. They said be here Friday at 6pm they worked is 7 min of Burpees, I had no ideas what burpees were but I said alright, I will be here. On my way to the gym I had a big Qdoba burrito (not Paleo bro), I was going to workout so I needed energy. When they showed what a burpee was I knew that the burrito was not a good idea. Once I finished the workout I was hooked and was ready to do the so famous Welded again. That was the moment when my “why” switched gears once again. I wanted to be good at this, I wanted to beat other people, I wanted to learn every movement and be efficient at every lift.
This lasted for a long time, my “why” was pretty clear for most of the time, spending at least 2 hours a day doing Wods, multiple snatch pulls and accessory work, I was determined to get better at this and always improve my fitness. This came to somewhat of an end recently.That was when I found my new “why”, it wasn’t super defined at first, it wasn’t necessarily what I really really wanted at the time but life throws you curveballs that makes you understand and learn. Now that things are more clear I am so happy with my new “why” and can confidently say I am more disciplined than ever towards, it is the most important “why” I have ever had and I don’t believe it will change anytime soon, I am also super happy about this.
My new “why” is being the best father for my daughter, being the best husband, friend and coach. I want to live a healthy lifestyle for my family and daughter. I want her to be raised in an environment that picking a salad and staying away from sugar is the norm, that making time to exercise or do something active every day is non negotiable for most days. I want her to know that taking the easy way out in society’s eyes is never good or worth it.
After assessing and realizing my new “why” things are so much easier now, she is with me a lot of my time and it is the best feeling, exercising while she watches me and jumps up and down in her jumper is so much fun, having pictures of memories of me carrying her on a Truckee hike or having a healthy dinner at night as a family as she hits the table for more “food”, it is usually just the smallest bit of sweet potatoes or let her suck on a piece of steak, she loves it and that will be her norm and her day to day. Having her at the gym with me while she watches numerous classes of people trying to be the best version of themselves, working hard and slamming weights while she doesn’t even blink makes me so happy. She can fall asleep while people do multiple reps of clean and jerks next to her, she thinks this is the most normal thing ever. And the most important of all she watches her parents do a team workout in the garage while mom and dad go down to the floor and back up with a jump and clap numerous times and she has no idea why, but it is fun to watch and so funny to her.
Having my “why” throughout my fitness journey has always made things easier, if they are as vain as looking good naked or as important as being there for my family, it doesn’t matter as long as you have one, it will make you more disciplined and work harder towards your goals which will then help you achieve them all, quickly. Your “why will constantly change, or not, just dont lose focus on it, always look back at it and appreciate it and a temporary satisfaction is never more important than your “why”. If you have never had a clear “why” to you feel free to email me and I will be happy to have a conversation with you and hopefully motivate you to find one and stick with it.