As a people-first organization, we go the extra mile to provide our Vampers with the ability to grow through championing talent and being flexible to individual needs. Our Transformation Interview Series explores how our people have been able to thrive within their roles and transform both personally and professionally. In our third installment, we sit down with Josh Clark to talk about his transformation to a healthier lifestyle after recovering from an old injury and how VideoAmp has supported his ambitions.
I always played sports growing up and was pretty active up until 2012. I used to do Krav Maga and some mixed martial arts training, which was a fun and easy way to stay in shape. Then I started training for a half marathon in New Orleans, but a month before the event I was playing flag football with some friends and tore my PCL. This injury really shut me down from 2012 up until the VideoAmp fitness challenges which started in 2019. I would still try to run and lift, but it was always slightly painful while I was still recovering from my injury, so I didn’t have much motivation to be active.
When I started at VideoAmp and saw how much of a focus fitness was for the company, it really motivated me because I saw everyone else was doing it and thought, ‘why can’t I?’ So, I decided I had to participate in the next fitness challenge, which was a team challenge where everybody was rooting for and supporting each other.
At first, it was discouraging because I was working hard and changing my diet, but not seeing any results. Once I talked to everyone who’d been doing these challenges for a while, they encouraged me, letting me know that gaining weight isn’t necessarily negative, because it means you’re gaining muscle. So I thought, I just have to change my mindset, the number on the scale doesn’t singularly define progress. I’ve gotten to the point now where that number doesn’t affect me negatively anymore, instead, I stay focused on eating healthy and doing CrossFit four to five times a week.
Yes. Growing up I played soccer and lacrosse, which are both team sports. So I was always used to having that team aspect where we bonded about the workouts we did that day, because we all were in it together. We did these workouts and accomplished our goals as a team. There’s something about working out and taking pride in a challenge together that really solidifies a bond, and these emotions are transferable for things we do at VideoAmp. Putting something together under a tight deadline, or getting something out the door for CES -- in a way you’re flexing the same emotional and psychological muscles to hold yourself accountable, work together and meet the challenge as a team.
Early on, I knew that participating in these fitness challenges would bring not only positive physical changes, but also positive mental changes. For this fitness challenge, my goal is to clear 400 pounds on deadlift. This challenge, to me, is almost equal to having to deliver a design in two weeks. So while these fitness challenges evoke physical changes of being more healthy and having more energy, it also changes the way you approach certain difficulties in the workplace.
Back in December, when we were working on CES, it seemed crazy to be able to get things done on top of everything else. When the team met about this specific project, Ross said “Well, we have to try.” So I thought, you know what, he’s right, you have to at least try. You can’t just sit back and think something is impossible. In terms of working out, that’s where I was with my injury, I just kept making excuses. This flipped a switch in my mind to get over that mental roadblock and at least try my best in everything. Give everything your best shot and have this mentality in every aspect of your life.
The first month was really tough, but then working out and doing CrossFit became so much fun. I had such a stigma about CrossFit before joining VideoAmp and I thought I’d never do it, but now it’s the most fun I’ve ever had working out. Seeing how much energy I have and how much better I feel overall since starting these challenges, it’s almost addictive. It feels great to have so much more energy. It’s also been great for my kids, allowing me to instill healthy habits in them and be a role model.
I’ve definitely become a CrossFit junkie, which is crazy to think about when I compare where I was a year and a half ago to where I am today.
When I was younger, I had one soccer coach that always focused on the fundamentals of the sport and learning discipline around these fundamentals. Anytime I played for him, we were undefeated. He taught me to focus on the fundamentals, and everything else will fall into place. From a design standpoint and from leading a team, I’ve learned that discipline doesn’t stay in one area of your life, you need to have an overall disciplined mindset. It’s easy to slip up and forget about the fundamentals, but if you always come back to this mindset, you’ll position yourself for success.
Josh Clark has been crafting user experiences across a variety of industries for the past 15 years. He has particularly enjoyed working with the complexities of the advertising industry. Josh loves working to make vast, complex problems easier for users to understand, and that’s what he tries to do every day with his team at VideoAmp.