Here's how this mom is staying positive.
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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.
When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do.
How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?
As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.
When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:
In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect.
Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.
When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:
In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.
Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion.
When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:
That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain.