Name: Josh Cox
Anytime Fitness Title: H2i, Hired to Inspire Club Manager and Personal Trainer
Anytime Fitness Location: Santa Rosa, CA (Kiwanas Springs)
My weakness: I’m an avidly open food addict, and that will forever be a struggle for me. Although one of my greatest weaknesses, I’ve found that by being open and vulnerable to your own “kryptonite,” you can find strength in weakness. What ties it together is honesty. If you can be honest about your shortcomings (and make a promise to work on them, while allowing yourself to be human), then you’ve got life figured out better than most!
What keeps me motivated: Never forgetting where I come from. Seeing the smiles on my best friends’/clients’ faces every day. Making a positive difference in someone’s life by simply making myself available, being patient and offering a kind word they didn’t realize they needed. Breaking through mental and physical barriers of my own alongside some of the greatest people I’ve ever met. Enjoying the feeling of sun on my skin—skin that I used to keep covered up with a sweatshirt. Taking a big breath of fresh air in that no longer causes me to feel like I’m on the verge of a heart attack.
Working Out Sucks, but: settling for mediocrity sucks more.
I feel my best when: I am surrounded by loved ones.
If I could tell the world one thing about exercise and fitness it would be: that health and fitness really is for everyone. It’s not about fitting the stereotypical mold, it’s about making your own mold. Health and fitness is for you!
The hardest thing I have ever had to overcome in my life: was also the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s a part of my life I have shared with very few people.
The incident occurred two weeks into my freshman year of high school. I was walking home from school, and a group of kids were hanging out near some bleachers at a park on my route. I was regularly harassed by the boys, but I had grown sick of giving them the reaction they were after (lots of tears as I yelled “SHUT UP!”) so I decided I was just going to ignore them. It was my hope that eventually they would give up and leave me alone. Unfortunately, that tactic made them even angrier.
One day, the kids in the park started walking with me. They grabbed me by my arms and threw me against the back of a set of bleachers. They quickly duct taped my arms and legs together. Unable to defend myself, the boys proceeded to tear off my shirt and slap my belly back and forth saying things like,”I’ve never seen a belly so big move so much!” and “I bet you won’t ignore us now fat boy!” After they had tortured me about my “man boobs,” the group lost interest in the crying kid they had taped to the bleachers and left.
But they didn’t cut me down.
I was only taped to the bleachers for an hour, but it felt like a week. The bleachers were in a back corner of the park, surrounded by a creek and brush. Fortunately, a homeless man stumbled across me. I couldn’t even look him in the eyes. I will never forget him saying, “It’s okay son, I know what it’s like to be ashamed. You’re in good company.” When he cut me down, I kept my head down and quickly walked away, thanking him with no other thought but getting away from there.
As soon as I got home, I was able to sneak to my room without seeing anyone. I pulled on a new shirt, throwing the tattered shirt in the trash. The next thing I did was head to the kitchen to ask my mom to sign me up for a gym membership.
I live with that memory every single day. Sometimes it makes me feel weak and pitiful, while other times it makes me feel like the strongest man alive. If I can make something of myself after that experience, I know there isn’t a thing on earth that I can’t do.
The hardest day of my life is also the fuel for my fire. I’m thankful for everything I have ever been through, because in the long run it was training for my role as a leader. I know rock bottom in every way. I also know what sunlight at the top of a mountain feels like.
It feels amazing.