What our team learned from this authentic superstar.
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Alexis Pritchard knows what takes to be an innovator. As a member of the inaugural field of women boxers at the 2012 Olympics, she relied on a deep well of mental and physical toughness to unlock her potential. Now she and her husband, Cam, are teaching others those same skills from the Wreck Room, their boxing and group fitness gym in Auckland, New Zealand. Here’s what she had to say about her journey.
Rebuild with Lex is about empowering people to take control of their lives courageously. Our minds are our greatest assets when we use it in our favour, or it can be our biggest obstacle in achieving our goals. When I learnt how to unlock the power of my mind for growth, I started to flourish as an athlete and a person. I want all people to have access to these skills. Mental skills are important to learn, and we need someone to help guide us through the process. I am a Mindset and Performance as it gives me great joy in seeing people thrive.
My husband Cam and I opened Wreck Room in 2015. A gym for anyone and everyone. No pretense. It is a place to learn solid boxing technique even in our fitness classes, have fun and sweat. The gym we were renting space from was closing down. We either had to find a garage to train out of or take a leap of courage and open a gym. Cam and I were in the middle of a boxing campaign working towards the 2016 World Champs.
I was part of the first ever contingent of female boxers at the Olympic Games, what a freaking incredible experience. Life-altering. I was able to take one step further than my pioneer sisters in this sport because of all the work they did. There are certainly more young girls taking up the sport of boxing, and I hope they break through my achievements and one day bring home an Olympic medal for women’s boxing.
Bring an open mind, bring some courage to try something new and possibly suck at it. Leave all your judgements about yourself at home and do not compare yourself to anyone else. Keep going back at least three times, see the progress you make, and then make up your mind if it is for you or not. Water bottle, comfort clothes to train in, and trainers. Check if the gym has gloves you can hire for your first class.
After retiring from international sport, I found it difficult to motivate myself to exercise. It took me six months to get off the sofa after the 2018 Commonwealth Games. I returned to movement very gently. I made a deal with myself to try and do one yoga class a week for one month. And then, I started slowly adding other things in and increasing the intensity. I was inspired by my mum to run a half marathon, as she did her first half three years ago at 63 years young. I will be doing my first one on the 21 March 2020. And I have returned to one of my other sporting loves, rock climbing, so hopefully you see me outside on some rock, problem solving how to get up it and living in courage when I feel a little scared on the hard bits.
Looking after myself is a priority. And I make time to do the things that nourish my soul and fill my cup up.
Not every week is going to be the same, and some weeks are better than others. My self-care practice is movement/ exercise 3-6 times a week. This could be a run, weights, rock climbing, some boxing, or a bit of yoga. I have a beautiful office where I sit on my comfortable chair facing the morning sun and just focusing on my breathe for 5-10 minutes with my eyes closed. This is my meditation 3-6 times a week. I have a gratitude journal that I write in a few times a week too. Making time to connect with people who are uplifting is important to my wellness routine. For example, on a Sunday, I go to community yoga with two fabulous friends, and we have a chat, coconut loaf, and tea afterwards. Quality time with my person, my husband, is part of my self-care too. Little things like having a coffee to getting chatting, laughing with him, holding hands while sitting on the sofa watching our favourite show on TV, or bigger things like driving up to the beach and me pretending to surf and him having a swim.
Wellness, for me, encompasses my mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health. Start by making yourself a priority in your life. In terms of self-care, do what works for you. If you don’t know, be curious, and explore different things, find the ones that work for you, keep those in your toolkit, and get rid of the other one. Do not compare yourself to others in this space. Their way is not better than your way. If your way nourishes your souls, then it is perfect. If your friend loves doing yoga at 6 am and drinking a kale and avo smoothie, and you don’t like either, don’t do it. If you enjoy sitting on a bench eating a little ice-cream and a little walk on the beach, do that.
In New Zealand? Try it out for yourself! Book a class at Wreck Room now.
With the inability to leave our houses, right now might seem like the perfect time to try a lot of things we’ve never made time for. In this altered state of reality, and time indoors that seems to drag on forever, it may seem like the opportunities are endless. Organizing, decorating, baking, crafting, reading, TikTok-ing, and doing all those things you see online. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed with options, we’re here to tell you that now’s the perfect time to try yoga above the rest.
Bedroom. Backyard. Livingroom. Basement. Bathroom (hey, to each his own). Anywhere you have room to roll out a yoga mat is fair game. Sorry, extra tall peeps, you may have to move some furniture. As we’re all sheltered-in-place right now, we’re getting creative with how we get our fitness in. But if you just don’t have it in you to start transforming your guest room into a fitness studio (we get it), virtual yoga classes are perfect for you.
You’re probably already wearing yoga pants.
Unless you enjoy suffering and have been putting jeans on every day to WFH (props to you), you’re probably wearing sweats, PJs, or yoga pants on your lower half (with some business on top, of course). If that’s the case, you’re already almost fully dressed for a yoga sesh! Throw on a sports bra or top, push your coffee table out of the way, and you’re good to go (no shoes necessary).
As we’re all stuck at home, people's creativity has started to blossom. Some have started new social media challenges, taken up painting or knitting, or channeled their inner Chrissy Teigen and started trying out all those recipes they never had time to before. If you’re like me, though, you’re a little discouraged when it comes to getting the creative juices flowing. You may be feeling anxious about the state of the world right now, discouraged by how talented everyone else seems on social media, or simply can’t find the energy to take on a new challenge. If that’s you, that’s okay. I’m right there with you. I’m a writer, and usually a pretty creative person, but I just can’t bring myself to hop on this trend right now.
For me, however, yoga has been an awesome way to express myself—a different form of creativity that doesn’t necessarily yield a production at the end. You can start by attending a live virtual yoga class, and add in your own creative flair as you go (because what better time to try new poses than when you’re in your house with no one watching?). Listen to your body, get expressive, and let your creative juices flow (literally).
It’s no secret, that yoga has some incredible mental benefits. And it’s also no secret that a lot of us could use a little extra mental self-care right now. Focusing on your breathing, connecting your body and mind, and diving into meditation all have incredible effects on your overall mental health. It’s been shown to relieve stress, calm the nervous system, and even improve symptoms of depression.
On top of that, in a time of such uncertainty, we are all most likely craving routine. Carving out some time in our not-so-busy schedules to put down our phones, turn off our TVs, and tune in to connect with our bodies and minds could definitely do us all some good right now.
If you’re used to working in an ergonomically correct office and have now switched to a hunched-over-a-coffee-table-on-your-couch situation, we feel you. I know I’ve been having some serious back pain from all the weird positions I’ve been working in each day. Yoga can help strengthen your back muscles, improve posture, and increase blood flow. If you’ve noticed areas of pain or tightness in your body, you can focus on bringing fluid, breath, and awareness to them to release tension and increase flexibility.
There are many different types of yoga, and you may have to test out a few before you find the one that’s right for you. If you want it as a supplement to your other intense virtual fitness classes, you may want to try restorative or Yin yoga. If you want to heat up your muscles and break a sweat, you may want to try a more active Vinyasa or Power flow. Don’t be overwhelmed by choices; think of it as an opportunity to challenge your body and mind in lots of new ways! Here’s a guide to get you started.
If you’re feeling isolated and in need of a sense of community right now, you’re not alone. We’re all missing our friends, family, and general sense of human connection right now. A great way to get connected to a local (or distant) community right now is through virtual classes. Many studios are offering live-streamed virtual yoga sessions that are bookable through Mindbody, where you can flow in solidarity with others around the world.
Maybe you’d like to try out yoga studios near you in hopes of finding one you can frequent once they reopen. Or maybe you’d like to explore what other cities or countries have to offer. Perhaps you’ve been nervous to try yoga for the first time in a studio in front of others. Right now, you have the unique opportunity to experience classes and instructors from a variety of different studios from the comfort of your home. Take advantage of it! You’d be surprised how comforting it is to know that you’re sharing an hour of your day with people in the same boat. And who knows? Maybe you’ll find a local community of yogis you love and a studio to visit once stay-at-home orders are lifted.
If you’re looking for a new hobby, fitness type, creative release, stress-reducer, pain-reliever, or sense of community, yoga is all of that—and more. So, find a space, roll out your mat (or just try it on the carpet!), and find a class to try today. What’s stopping you?