CFV Core Values: GRIT

This past fall during our team retreat, the Vantage team revamped our Core Values.  This list better represents what we believe to be the Values that will continue to drive the Vantage family (us and you) towards the best versions of ourselves.

Those values are…

  • Grit
  • Growth & Grace
  • Trust & Relationships
  • Integrity
  • Fun

On the eve of our move into Vantage 3.0, we wanted to take a few weeks and share with you the values that guide and drive us. Amanda and I started Vantage with a set of core beliefs that we had cultivated from our experiences as personal trainers. As we grew and matured as a business, so did our beliefs.  After thousands of hours coached and years of new experiences, we knew that it was time to update our core values to help represent where we started where we have come and where we are going.   We are going to start this series off at the top, Grit.

So why is Grit our first Core Value? It describes a strength of character, a courage and resolve.

Doing CrossFit takes grit. Adopting new lifestyle habits takes grit.  From day one of your CrossFit journey you start showing your Grit. Think about this, walking into a gym that is known for its intense workouts and fit community takes courage.  Coming back day in and day out, pushing yourself through challenging workouts, embracing the uncomfortable feelings that come from being a beginner through the uncomfortable feelings you get when you’ve progressed and are pushing to be the best. These all take a determination that most will never expose themselves to.  

It’s not the easy road, there are days you don’t feel like it, movements that aren’t progressing as fast as you’d like, WOD’s that always kick you in the teeth, but after each session you leaving knowing in your knower that you are better for having been there. Which is why we value Grit.  The strength of your character can’t be faked.  When you choose to come in and train regardless of what life throws at you, your determination shines through.  

It’s easy to skip or never even start CrossFit, but something about who you are and your level of grit brings you in to improve.  As you grow and develop inside the gym walls, your levels rise and your capacity to handle more increases. The rewards for increased capacity are not bound to just the gym, they expand into every avenue of your life. You recognize its impact on your relationships, your career, your adventures and inside your own mind.  And it all starts with Grit.  

Train with Intention

The months leading up to The Open can be great for CrossFitters training.  Each and every training session we have we are working towards improving, strengthening, speeding up.  We’ve got a target date in front of us and it’s moving closer every day.  As each day passes, it puts a greater sense of urgency on our training session.  There is only so much time, and we’ve got so many movements to improve on.  It’s like putting off your weekly reading and then cramming the few days before a final exam.  When we’ve got plenty of time, we don’t have the drive.  When we’ve got the drive, we don’t have the time.  What if we kept our drive year round.  What if our we trained with intention every day.   

I know this is an easy topic to talk about right now with The Open just days away, each of us has a lot of intention in our training.  It’ll be a lot harder to talk about Training with Intention in June when the sun is hot, a cold beer sounds good, campfires are roaring SMORES are calling, there’s BBQ’s and cookouts, ice cream and vacations. So let this post lay the groundwork and we’ll continue this conversation in April after The Open concludes.   

Intention = Purpose

When you train with intention, you’re training with purpose.  What is the purpose of your training?  We’ve all got one.  Some you may openly throw around in public, others you only bounce around in the solitude of your own thoughts.  Now when I say purpose, I’m not talking about goals specifically, purpose is bigger than goals.  

For example,

Goal: participate in a triathlon.

Purpose for training: to not finish last.  

Personally, I don’t like the mind frame of that purpose, but that’s for blog post for another time. When you have a purpose, it changes your emotional state.  Attaching a feeling to an action makes it more powerful and you will do more to achieve those desired results.  When you can honestly answer the question “Why?” your purpose becomes clear.  

So let’s look at 3 ways to train with intention.  The first way is intention in the form of goals.  You signed up for a triathlon and you don’t want to finish last. Each day you are called to train, you will aim to improve so you will accomplish your goals!!    

The second is intention in training.  You don’t have a specific goal, you enjoy training and know you are better for it.  When you exercise, your stress level is more manageable, you’re healthier physically and mentally for family, friends and all Colorado life has to offer.  So your intention in training is to consistently come in, train hard, for yourself and your family. Regardless of how you are feeling, (tired, stressed, unmotivated, excited to train) your intention is to come in, move and get the most out of yourself as possible.

The last intention we are going to talk about is the intention in the workout.  What is the intent of the workout (the stimulus).  Is it a long grinding workout, a short intense sprint?  Is the loading heavy for strength or light for stamina?  Each workout is designed with a purpose in mind.  knowing and understanding that purpose will help you maximize each WOD and progress toward your personal intentions.

It can be hard to stay motivated, inspired and excited to train week in and week out when your goals appear to be in the distant future, or you don’t have any goals to work toward. However, if we are intentional with our training we can always be working towards maximizing our minutes in the gym!!

See the Whole Board

Focus, this is a word that I use frequently both in my personal life as well as my professional life.  Focus is something we are always trying to capture.  Even now, I’m trying to think of a way to capture your attention and keep your Focus.  We are presented with countless distractions from both external stimuli as well as our own internal stimuli. That reminds me I need to send an email…hold on one more second, someone just walked into my office…notification, someone just posted something on facebook…OK, back to work.

Usually when we talk about Focus, we’re trying to keep your attention on a detail or series of details that play into the bigger picture.  The goal of this post is to get you to focus on the Big Picture and how all those details play into each other.

“Begin with the end in mind.”  

Goal: This summer I want to be comfortable taking my shirt off at every pool, lake, beach I go to.

That’s my end goal for the first half of this year. If I Focus on one or two things, it will be food and exercise. I’m going to weigh and measure my food, balance my plate with Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats.  I’m going to listen to my body and train as often as possible.  With this focus I should be good right?  Let’s look at this as if it were a game.

The game is “Look Good, Feel Good”  a common game many of us play.  The players on the board are  Nutrition, Exercise, Accessory Work, Stress, Sleep, Hydration, Intensity, Consistency, and Mental Health.  There are other players of course, and they will find their way onto the board at some point.  But for now, let’s focus on these.  

In order to win the game and get the best results, I need to move each one of these pieces across the board. Now, what’s the best strategy to do that?  Do I focus on moving one piece all the way across and then come back and move another? Think chess, checkers, connect four, all of these games involve multiple ways to win.  If I focus on just one way, my plans may be ruined should an obstacle arise. Tunnel vision prevents me from seeing what else is going on, what’s working against me, what dangers are approaching, and other ways to reach my goal.   

What if I take a step back and allow myself to see the whole board.  Moving multiple pieces consecutively and allowing myself to see how each piece affects the others? Each day I’m going to start with eating breakfast, packing my lunch and snacks and bringing a water bottle with me.  I’m going to pack my gym bag and layout my day to reduce as much stress as possible.  Each and every move we make will have an effect on the moves that follow.  More exercise means I’ll need more food to fuel my body.  It will also mean I’ll need more sleep to promote recovery.  

If all I focused on was more exercise, I would miss out on these other moves to success. Seeing the whole board also allows me to see the game that’s being played and not get stuck in each individual move I make. Instead of just getting stuck on “I didn’t have a good nutritional day” I can see that my sleep, hydration, exercise and stress were all moving in the right direction.  Looking at the whole board adds a perspective to how I approach each piece and how I should adjust it to progress forward while guarding against potential threats.

Staying with the exercise focus, if I don’t have perspective, I might not think about the lack of sleep and how that with influence my performance in the gym or my lack of willpower when it comes to food choices.  

Life is a collection of years, the years get broken up into months and the months split into weeks which are separated into days and each day is a collection of hours.  It is so easy for us to focus on the details of an hour or day.  As enough weeks go by like this, we look back and say “where did this month go, this year is flying by.” We live in the moments, but from time to time we must step back and see the whole board.  Are you taking the correct steps to lead you to the destination you want?  Are you moving each piece or are you stuck on just one?  

Steps to Signing up for the 2018 Open

Step 1 – Register

Go to and register for The Open! Select CrossFit Vantage as your affiliate during your registration process. It’s the best $20 you’ll spend for fun 5 week event!

Step 2 – Add Yourself to CrossFit Vantage Affiliate Team

Once registered add yourself to our team!

Step 3 – Grab a CrossFit Open Goals sheet and Fill it out!

Grab a CrossFit Open Goals Sheet in the front, fill it out and tape it on the back wall to show us your in!

Step 4 – Get Drafted to a Team on Feb. 9th!

Now that your registered you will be “drafted” by one of our Intramural Open Teams! Once on that team points will be awarded for each team, for various areas. You will be apart of a FB team!

Step 5 – Come every Friday night to do the Workout and Help Judge your fellow athletes! Dates: Feb 23rd, March 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd.

These events are as much fun as they are fitness! Each week 60 plus people pack our space with friends, spirits, vendors and fitness! The energy is incredible and you will not want to miss out!

Coming soon! FAQ’s about the open at Vantage.

Want to know more about how the Open intramural Teams work at Vantage? Read our previous Blog post HERE

2018 Open at Vantage

The Open Teams

Just like last year, we will be running an Intramural team style Open. If you are registered for the Open, you will be drafted to one of four teams within the gym. Each team will work together to try and accumulate the most points per team in the gym! You may remember that “Team Tickles” won last year and has their name engraved on our championship belt, this year we will compete to see which team will earn a spot on the belt!

This years Captains are…

Mark Wilkens – The Process

Terra Anderson – 2 LeFit 2 Quit

Joel Quizon – Bringing Flexy Back

Sarah Addy – Flex Appeal

The team Captains will draft from every registered athlete for the Open on February 9th (so get yourself registered before then!) We will announce the the team rosters on the following Monday. There will be t-shirts, Facebook groups, team emails, etc that will be set up once the teams are created. Your team captain will be your main contact throughout the Open for questions or concerns!


The Open Workouts

This years workouts will also be very similar to last years process! Each weekend of the Open, Vantage will host an event on Fridays at 6pm. If you want to be judged in the Open and submit an official score, this will be your chance to complete the workout with a judge.

Each night we will allow people to start signing up for heat times at 5:30pm on the front whiteboard. If you are competing, you will be asked to sign up for an athlete slot AND a judging slot. So please plan to stick around for at least 2 heats to help get everyone through the workout! Vantage will provide details on judging standards and process the night of the event based on WOD specifics.

There will also be vendors here offering samples and sales of food and beverages most of the Fridays throughout “The Open”. If you have not experienced this before it is a very fun and encouraging atmosphere! Feel free to invite friends and family to come watch and cheer you on, we can’t wait to see what the athletes of Vantage accomplish in this years Open!


How Does Failure Help Shape our Goals?

Here we are, almost one full month into the new year. Most of us have got used to writing the numbers 18 instead of 17 when we scribble out the date and we’ve settled back into our everyday lives.  I wanted to give you something to read today that many of us think about but rarely put voice to.  Failure.

Now, why don’t we speak of it?   Is it because it’s a fear, or because we’re ashamed, maybe it’s because we always play it safe and don’t risk failing.  I’m sure you have seen famous quotes on failing from influential people in history, but how loudly did it speak to you?  I’m not famous and I don’t have a great quote for you.  I can tell you that I grew up believing that failure was not an option, ever, in any endeavor.  Some might see this as a bad thing, I view it as an alley.  Failure is not an option, so regardless of your goals, you must continue to work until you solve the problem and attain your goal.

In many of our blogs and videos, we talk about Goal Setting.  SMART Goals, Long Term Goals, WOD Goals, Life Goals.  We do this because goals help drive us.  They are the GPS that helps us navigate through our lives and you know who’s riding shotgun?  Failure.  It’s with us everywhere we go, sitting there f**king with the music, reading every sign we pass, always reminding us of its presence.  We will do everything in our power to keep it from messing up our trip and our plans.  And just like Mr. Klinger, my drivers ed instructor, we might not like them, but the person riding shotgun might be able to teach us a lot.

Now, the question that prompted this post was, “how do failures help us shape our goals?”

Let’s start by defining Failure.

The textbook definition is…


  • omission of occurrence or performance
  • lack of success
  • a falling short


These definitions are great, because they lack the emotional connection we have with Failure.  They don’t put a value on it, they just state the outcome.  This is important because of all the good that can come from falling short and will help us answer the question, “how do failures help us shape our goals?”

We set goals for what we want to accomplish or get.  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound. When we fall short, we learn about our capacity.

“I didn’t achieve goal number __ because I didn’t have the capability at this time.”

It’s not the end of the world, I wasn’t ready for or able to handle whatever that goals was, now I’ve got more data to help me adjust my goal or to help focus my attention so I can increase my capacity.

Failure can teach us about what we can handle, both physically, mentally and emotionally.  Whether it an Open WOD or a relationship.  If you didn’t succeed with the goals you set, what did you succeed with?  That’s how much you can handle right now.  Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t.  By setting a goal of handling more than you did before, you will be improving your abilities.

Failure also tests us to see how badly we really want something.  If you are willing to quit over your first adversity or “failure” you don’t really want it.  If the goal you set really means something to you, than you will be relentless in your pursuit.  Falling short won’t stop you, it will only give you time to find a better way to accomplish the task.

What I love about the definition of failure is that nowhere in it did I see the words “THE END”

When I’ve failed tests, I wasn’t immediately removed from the program, I came up short on the require knowledge, I wasn’t successful on the exam, I failed to meet the necessary requirements at that time. If I want to Pass, or move on, I better improve before next time.  Failure isn’t the end, it’s just a frame of reference that you still have more work to do before you can be successful.  So don’t be afraid of coming up short, use it as an opportunity to refocus your efforts, refine your goals and come back stronger.

Fitness Wheel

“We are the sum of all our parts” These words have been with me since I was young.  I’ve heard them from parents, coaches, team leaders, mentors, and movie characters.  In most instances, this quote talks about how teams function together. Since starting CrossFit, I’ve carried these words with me as both an athlete and business owner.  “We are the sum of all our parts”

So what are our parts?  There are our physical parts as well as our mental parts.  Physical Parts consist of our 10 general physical skills and our nutritional habits.  The mental parts can be broken down into our Mindset and our Aesthetics, (how you feel in your own skin).

Right now, many in the fitness industry are telling you what you think you need to become a better, fitter, healthier you in 2018.  What we’re going to do is help you see for yourself, where you are strong and where you want to make progress.

It’s very easy to look at your health and fitness in isolation.  My Cardio is strong, My strength is weak.  My mobility is non-existent, my stamina is amazing.  It’s also easy to ignore things that only take place between your ears like your mindset approaching the workout or what you think of yourself in the mirror.

Our Goal is to help you become the most complete, well rounded athlete you can be.  When this happens, you can enjoy every outdoor adventure Colorado has to offer, compete at the highest level you want, and live a long, healthy, and active life.   In an attempt to help determine how balanced you are as an athlete, we’ve starting using this fitness wheel to help visualize where you are and where you’d like to be.

This wheel is a representation of all the components of a complete athlete (click the image for a close up view!).  Look at each spoke on the wheel, where do you feel you land on each of them?  Assign yourself a number between one and ten on each spoke.  Number one should be closest to the center and ten furthest out.  If you were to rate yourself in each of these 8 areas, what would your wheel look like? Would it be similar to a circle or more like a monsters dental chart?  Remember, it doesn’t matter how big your circle is.  If you’re a 2 in everything, that’s AWESOME your balanced across all aspects.  Now it’s time to progress out.

This athlete wheel is designed to give you a visual of which areas you are strong and what areas you need to develop. The truth is, most of us need to improve in every area of health and fitness.

Strength and Stamina,

Endurance and Flexibility,

Power and Speed,

Agility and Balance,

Coordination and Accuracy,




Just as we try to find balance with each area of our life, we should also be striving to find balance with the areas of our fitness. It’s messy, it’s uncomfortable, and It’s completely worth it!!

No School Like the Old School

Happy Wednesday Everybody.

With all of the exciting new things happening with the Vantage community we are planning on bring a little bit of the old school back.

Stay Tuned and help keep us accountable as we re-start our written blogs!!