The first time I met Alexa she was pouring coffee and we ended up chatting about astrology. As a Taurus I always try to resist the impracticality of astrology, but Lex's perspective on the well-being of our Universe interested me. When I told her I was feeling lethargic, not in the mood to workout, she reminded me that things are always in flux. "Mercury is in retrograde," she said, "this feeling will pass."
It was then that I realized she would be the perfect person to kick off the #mActivityPeople interview series—profiles that focus on the mindful lives and health routines of inspiring people in New Haven. We started with her sports and academic career. Lex is a former soccer player who studied psychology at Southern Connecticut State University. She is now our manager at mActivity. I think of her moving through her work in the same way that she moves through life: with both the strength of an athlete, and the immeasurable patience of a counselor. Her portrait of health has changed a lot over the years and I had the pleasure of speaking with her about how she found a routine that works for her.
Stephanie: When did your health journey begin?
Lex: I come from a family of athletes. I played soccer for twelve years and ran track competitively in high school until getting runner’s knee my senior year. I hit my knee and damaged all of its nerves so I couldn’t play competitively anymore. When I was told that I couldn’t play, my health became less of a priority in college and I really struggled—I felt like I was in limbo. I was used to being coached how to train.
Then I worked on a cruise ship one summer. We worked from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and I noticed significant changes in my health. Obviously I lost weight, but I felt so much better, too, not drinking so much. I thought, OK, join a gym. That will get me back on track. I met Burch and Pablo and the way they described mActivity sounded so good for me, ‘A place where you can do more than just your own thing, a place to to be a part of.’
Stephanie: You’re definitely a big part of mActivity. How do you take care of your own health?
Lex: Honestly, I used to eat too little, party too much and run a lot. I just ran all the time because I didn’t know how to train on my own. Carolino and Liv taught me about the individuality of a fitness and nutrition plan. I focus on strength training with Carolino once a week for 30 minutes. We’ve been working together for a year now and I feel so much stronger.
Liv has helped me understand that the amount of protein, fat and sugar my body needs is specific to me, not mass nutrition trends. The InBody has helped to inform my diet because it measures fat, lean body mass and either water retention or dehydration. And the whole “don’t eat after 7 p.m.” thing has been completely demystified by Liv. She explained that if I have a caloric portion of sugar left in my diet for the day, I don’t need to feel bad about eating my cheddar Chex Mix at 8 p.m. Love that.
Stephanie: Totally. It’s all about becoming more aware of our habits and deciding what needs to change so we feel better. How do you plan to stay mindful?
Lex: My personal goal is to keep taking steps to move forward. I want to keep learning from our members and trainers about how being active supports their lifestyles; professionally I plan on applying to graduate school for Sports Psychology. I want to help athletes create a healthy mindset, keep up good grades and deal with competitive pressures—I’ve been there and it’s hard to manage all on your own. For the world, I hope that our health awareness will to continue to expand. I know a lot of our issues in this country today are health-related. The community has to come together. And I see it happening here on a local scale.
The #mActivityPeople interview series focuses on the mindful lives and health routines of mActivity’s inspiring community. Submit your own on Instagram—post your mindful mActivity (tag us @mactivitynh!) and include the hashtag #mActivityPeople for a chance to be featured on our blog.