This founder turned pop-up yoga classes into a multi-location studio.
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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.
To say the last year and a half was tough would be an understatement. In fact, it will probably go down as one of the most difficult times for our modern generation. In one of the many social polls we conducted during the pandemic, some of you described this time as a sheer “dumpster fire” or “like stepping on a Lego.” And to be honest, I couldn’t agree more.
Luckily, we’ve been able to get back to some form of normalcy in our lives and wellness routines over the last several months. As vaccines became available to the public, wellness businesses welcomed fitness fanatics, haircut seekers, and massage lovers back to in-person wellness experiences. And thank goodness for that—my roots and horrible posture from working from my bed were both getting wildly out of control. This girl needed a good massage and cupping session stat.
If there’s one thing we learned from the pandemic, it’s that our wellness routines are as personal as they are important. During shelter-at-home, those routines looked a bit different. For many, it meant taking a new approach to the “typical” wellness services we count on—I’m looking at you DIY haircuts, at-home waxing sessions (ouch!), and virtual swerking classes.
Now that we can leave our humble abodes to take advantage of in-person experiences again, the word “wellness” has seemingly taken on a new meaning.
Recently, we conducted another one of our famous social polls to see what wellness means to you, our Mindbody community, now that we're slowly but surely getting back to our regularly scheduled programming. We also tapped some of our most influential Mindbody business owners about the ever-evolving wellness landscape.
Here’s what you all had to say.
According to our annual Mindbody Wellness Index, 60% of Americans say they’re more focused on their health and wellness since COVID. Consumers are now realizing they need to take greater care of themselves to optimize and preserve their health. When we asked you on Instagram how important wellness is, a whopping 98% said it was more important than ever. When it comes to how you’re practicing wellness, though, the answers were all over the board. Many of you pointed to journaling, practicing breathwork, and daily workout routines (cycling and yoga topped the list) as being the activities that help you keep your chill throughout the week.
I’m also happy to report that over 50% said you tend to feel more blessed than stressed on a daily basis—which is more than likely a big improvement. Let’s be honest, a year ago I would’ve bet a billion dollars that 99.9% of us knew no other feeling than anxiety—am I right? But even with the stress in our lives dwindling, many of you are still experiencing burnout at the end of a long work week (guilty!). But instead of succumbing to a bottle of wine for relief (please, that was so 2020), you’re unwinding by going to your favorite workout classes—with hot yoga, barre, and Pilates as your faves.
Let’s be honest, we should credit the business owners in this space for helping us reignite our spark when it comes to our wellness routines, right? Thanks to them, we’ve been inspired to prioritize the activities that help us feel our best. In turn, we thought it’d be interesting to learn what wellness means to them—and how that definition has changed over the past eighteen months.
Here’s what they had to say.
“Wellness is living in balance—mind, body, spirit. Highs and lows. It all ebbs and flows and we can navigate it a bit better when we take time to move, breath and remember who we are, and how we are connected to this big, beautiful world.” - Jess Pierno, Founder, Owner, and Chief Inspiration Officer of Yoga Heights
“Wellness is a true balancing of the mental, physical, and spiritual. It has definitely evolved over the years for me—from something that I just thought was about exercising and eating a healthy diet—to also incorporating balancing and healing internally and spiritually.” - Stefanie Patterson, Owner, Indianapolis Salt Cave and Halotherapy Center
“My sense of wellness has evolved from staying healthy and motivated, mind/body/spirit... to being more gentle with myself, less demanding. Accepting my limitations, taking time for resting, and gaining real clarity about what's important. I care less about what people think of me—difficult as a performer and as a business owner with so many demands on me—and more about getting quiet and tapping into the divine source inside of me that helps me discern my next move. In this way, I know my motives are as pure as possible and I'm not getting distracted—not that I don't make mistakes! Those are necessary, that's how we learn!” - Johanna Krynytzky, Owner, Hip Expressions Belly Dance Studio
“My studio name reminds us that we are constantly evolving. The past 18 months have certainly shown us that! Wellness to me means doing your best on any given day to make sure that you are taking care of yourself as best you can. It leads to resilience. Diet, exercise, sleep, a sense of community, and some form of faith. It all matters. Setbacks happen all the time, and every day is a chance to start again. We strive to be 'cheerleaders' for our clients when we sense that things are coming out of balance in their lives. So many have been with us for 18 years and are friends—they are our community and we all watch out for each other.” - Mo Wolfe, Owner and Founder, Evolution Pilates
I think we can all agree that there isn’t one true definition of wellness anymore. To some of us, it means getting that hot yoga sesh in daily, and to others, it means carving out time to treat ourselves to a massage or manicure. As long as you’re actively pursuing wellness—whatever that means to you—you're on the right track.
Our MO has always been about connecting the world to wellness—a term that's seen a lot of change lately. Whether you’re fully embracing the in-person experience or still delighted by the convenience of practicing at-home wellness, the Mindbody app makes it easy for you to book experiences that help you feel like YOU again.