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My Beauty Uniform: Alexi Pappas

My Beauty Uniform: Alexi Pappas

Alexi Pappas is an Olympic runner, actress, filmmaker, and author of the inspiring new memoir Bravey (which comes out today!), but I first fell in love with her when my teenager daughter sent me one of her Instagram posts…

…Underneath a video of Alexi running a hill workout was one of her trademark poems:

girl: cant
hill: can
girl: no
hill: i am rooting for you
girl: no you not
hill: i promise i am
girl: why are you here
hill: im here for you

Her voice was so different from other runners — it was vulnerable, real, motivating. She called her followers “Braveys” and she didn’t want us to just watch her journey, she wanted to bring us along and help us achieve things, too. That idea of a hill cheering her on — an obstacle pushing her instead of holding her back — is signature Alexi, as I’d soon discover reading her memoir.

After losing her mom to suicide at age four, Alexi looked for mentors, cheerleaders and goodness everywhere. When she was diagnosed with severe clinical depression following one of the peak experiences of her life — competing for Greece in the 2016 Olympics — she found the support her mother never had. Here, she talks about how she takes care of herself, the importance of a good “race face,” and when she feels the most beautiful.

My Beauty Uniform: Alexi Pappas

The word “Bravey” came from another one of your poems: “run like a bravey, sleep like a baby, dream like a crazy, replace can’t with maybe.” Tell me what it means to be a “Bravey.”
It became a self-identifier for those who are willing to chase their dreams even though it can be intimidating and scary. The thing about the word ‘Bravey’ that I like is that it is more of an inward-facing word, and some of the words that we strive for as young girls, like ‘strong’ and ‘fierce’ to me feel very outward facing. I think what has worked with ‘Bravey,’ is that it feels like your choice to just decide that you are that, and it means this to me. I could have used more words like that growing up.

My Beauty Uniform: Alexi Pappas

I love how you describe growing up in a house with only men, how your brother taught you how to pee standing up. Did that inform your relationship with beauty?
After my mom passed away, I lived in a house with my dad [above] and brother that was filled with sports and Seinfeld and Howard Stern on the radio and my room was like a study in girly over-compensations. I wanted to be a princess like every other little girl I knew in the 90s and as I grew up, I followed a lot of trends, because it wasn’t like there was one person saying, ‘Oh no. You don’t need that,’ or ‘Try this.’ So, when glitter became trendy, I was putting on glitter. It was all an attempt to fit in. When you’re growing up, at least from my experience, I just wanted to be able to pass as someone who might’ve had a mom, someone who might’ve had female guidance.

My Beauty Uniform: Alexi Pappas

And that changed when you got to college, when you began living with women?
Yes. When I wasn’t running, I found my way into the improv theater group at Dartmouth. This is the same group that Mindy Kaling and Rachel Dratch were in before me — and these improvising women were my role models. Some of them wore makeup, some of them didn’t, but it wasn’t the Disney princess variety anymore. It was the college, confident, exploring-ourselves-kind-of-makeup, so more eyeliner, less eye shadow.

My Beauty Uniform: Alexi Pappas

When do you feel the most beautiful?
I feel most beautiful, I think, in two scenarios. First, when I’m running in a way where my mind and my body are on the same page, it’s almost like I’m watching myself run from just above and it’s a really beautiful feeling. It’s a flow. It’s graceful. Those times are rare. At the Olympics I felt like that, and it was so cool that it came together on that particular day.

My Beauty Uniform: Alexi Pappas

On the glamorous side, I felt very beautiful at our South By Southwest premiere of Olympic Dreams. [A movie directed by Alexi’s husband, Jeremy Teicher, that she starred in.] I love film premieres. I think that stuff is so fun. Champion, my sponsor, hired a designer, and we made the outfit out of sports bras and athletic fabric.

My Beauty Uniform: Alexi Pappas

I was so surprised to read that you do full-on makeup for races.
Yeah, I think it’s just like being in front of the camera — you really are on stage. Running is as mental as it is physical, and race day is this big performance, where it’s less about putting on makeup for the world, and more for yourself. It’s about arming yourself, and dressing yourself and putting whatever on your face that makes you feel like you are the alter ego that will perform. It’s more about accessing your most capable brave inner self than it is presenting something to the world.

Tell me what you wear for your “race face,” as you call it.
I recently discovered this really bright blue mascara from Korres, a Greek brand, that’s very fun. I think race day is a good day for something like that. I wear that with bright blue eyeliner that I try to do as Audrey Hepburn as I can. Milk has a gold-tinted thing that I might streak on my cheeks. And I always wear sunscreen first — usually Supergoop.

My Beauty Uniform: Alexi Pappas

How about hair care?
I have very curly hair, and it behaves in different ways in different climates. In terms of shampoo and haircare, I have allegiance to Kiehl’s and to Korres — especially their leave-in oil. My hair can get dry, so the more oil the better. In fact, when I was in Greece for quarantine this past February, I started just putting olive oil in my face and in my hair. I figured, it can’t be bad for me, it’s flowing here like water. And it worked!

My Beauty Uniform: Alexi Pappas

Part of your mission with this book (and the video you did with the New York Times) is to get people to pay attention to mental illness the same way they pay attention to physical illnesses, especially in the sports world.
Yes, what began as post-Olympic depression could have probably been ok if I had taken some time to rest and mentally recover. But I didn’t and I was sick. I was so sick. I was mentally ill. It was temporary but it was severe. It was the actual worst thing I could ever imagine. My doctor, both a psychiatrist and psychologist, explained to me that mental illness is like when you fall and have a scrape on your knee — except instead of the cut being on your knee, it’s on your brain. It takes time to heal. Your brain is a body part that can get injured like any other, and it can also heal like any other.

What else helped?
He told me to stop trying to convince myself not to be depressed — a depressed person can’t be convinced of anything. He told me to instead expect that I was going to feel very sad, and that the most important thing was to focus on my actions. Actions change your thoughts over time, and over even more time thoughts change your feelings. It’s like when you are in a race. Racing is very painful but we are not what we feel in any single moment and just because I’m in the hurt box now doesn’t mean I won’t feel better in a few more laps. Racing is about understanding that pain is a sensation but not necessarily a threat; the best thing you can to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other.

My Beauty Uniform: Alexi Pappas

Thank you so much, Alexi. We love your book!

P.S. More beauty uniforms, including soccer player Crystal Dunn; and why we run.

  1. I love that these beauty uniforms take such an all-encompassing approach to beauty. It’s refreshing to see what makes these women feel beautiful: strong mental health, empowerment, self acceptance. I love the makeup/skincare content as well and it’s incorporated so thoughtfully that it doesn’t feel like it’s “trivial” or “superficial” as it is so often. Thank you for sharing a variety of looks, ages, styles, and beauty priorities with us!

  2. Oh man, I had no idea Alexi existed and now I’m ready to buy the book! Thank you so much, Alexi, for bringing mental illness to the forefront. Having had a lifelong battle with anxiety and several bouts of depression, I think it is important to get the help you need to heal your brain over time! Also, all of Alexi’s smiles are infectious!

  3. Cat says...

    Yay! I’ve followed Alexi for years, it’s so fun to see a distance runner pop up on COJ!

  4. Tina says...

    Thank you CoJ for introducing me to this amazing young woman! Love her. I had never heard of her or her “Braveys.” But we have a cat nicknamed “Big Bravey.” The cat is so scared of everything. He is scared to go in certain rooms of the house. He creeps slowly and it’s obvious how scared he is. We had nicknamed him “Lil Fraidy.” But I started thinking that is was the wrong perspective. He is scared, but he ventures out anyway. So, we changed the nickname to Big Bravey. I know he’s just a cat, but I still think it’s a good lesson for my kids. I love hearing them give him positive reinforcement for being a big bravey.

  5. I just heard about Alexi and this book yesterday on NPR. Two hits in two days — maybe it’s a sign I need to read it. ASAP. It’s an intriguing story and the concept of post-Olympic depression is a common one among athletes. There are a few documentaries that cover the concept, but it’s WONDERFUL to have someone dive into their own story and reveal it to others. Alexi, otherwise, could come off as perfect. But, there’s no such thing. Let’s give ourselves some grace and compassion for our struggles and our imperfections.

  6. Janine says...

    As a long-distance runner and someone who lost her mother at age 15 and with a long history of disordered eating, this post really resonates with me. I always insisted I would never take up running. Running never came naturally to me and and I wasn’t talented enough growing up in the shadow of star athletes. It wasn’t until my early 40’s when I ran my first marathon and qualified for the Boston Marathon that I became a serious runner. Running still doesn’t come naturally to me but it is among the highlights of my day.

  7. Claudia says...

    I didn’t know Alexi, so thank you for this post. She’s amazing and I love her story!

  8. B says...

    What an incredible and inspiring woman. I cannot wait to read her book. Speaking of being a bravey, way to destigmatize honest and frank conversations about mental health. It is beautiful and generous, and no doubt it will save lives.

    • Angie says...

      Thanks for the link Molly – looking forward to reading more about her! Ange

  9. Kara says...

    I read this yesterday and am still thinking about the part about actions creating change in thoughts and feelings over time. When everyone was talking about their word for the new year, I thought, mine isn’t a word, it’s the phrase “just do it” (or the variation I once read on this blog, “do it anyway”), applied to everything but mostly the things my brain tells me to dread. This idea about actions really reinforces this, and I have a feeling I’ll continue to think about it for a long time to come!

    • Anne S says...

      Mine is similar – a quote by Samuel Beckett: “I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” Last year I struggled every day with finding reasons to keep going and do things that scare me. I became lightly agoraphobic and terrified of every feeling I had in my body (#justpandemicthings). I’m tired of being so defeatist, and I want to have a better attitude that acknowledges how hard and unpleasant it can be to keep going.

  10. L says...

    She sounds so amazing! So inspiring! Like pretty much everybody here I love her and all the work she’s doing to de-stigmatize mental health issues. I want to emphasize what she mentions about the dangers of crashing after a peak performance especially for young people. I was a very serious ballet dancer and it happened to me when I was sixteen. I was suicidal as well and it was absolutely terrifying because I had no clue what was happening to me or why and no one around me knew either. It seems like it’s not that uncommon, though, especially for young people totally consumed by a perfectionistic pursuit. Once the thing that you have obsessed over is done, even if it was a triumph, the crash can be so so brutal and lead to really serious depression. I just really want there to be more awareness amongst parents, teachers, coaches to help young people know that it’s pretty normal and how to survive it. Thanks for everything you’re doing, Alexi!

  11. Megan says...

    Thank you for introducing us to Alexi, cannot wait to read what sounds like an incredible book!

  12. Jennifer Vercelli says...

    Wow, needed this voice today. Immediately posted about her on ig, followed her and she dm’d me right away. So new and super fan created! Love her energy, honesty and what she stands for. Thank you for this!

  13. Bec says...

    Wow, what an amazing young woman. I definitely teared up reading this! Last year my sister’s friend died of suicide, leaving a baby girl. Life can be so overwhelmingly heartbreaking sometimes. So it’s really powerful to see people like Alexi who are so honest and brave, and learning how to live a beautiful life no matter what is thrown at you.

  14. April says...

    I haven’t heard of Alexi before this post but am very much looking forward to reading her book. Thanks for featuring her.

  15. Peg Serena says...

    Thanks for the introduction to Alexi. Especially profound to me today is this quote: “…the most important thing (to do) was to focus on my actions. Actions change your thoughts over time, and over even more time thoughts change your feelings. ”
    I’ve been struggling with angst, constant distraction and just feeling down. Walking outside really helps, and this quote will strengthen my will to get out there xoxox

  16. Emily says...

    “He told me to stop trying to convince myself not to be depressed — a depressed person can’t be convinced of anything.” That’s some of the best advice I’ve been given. I went into a DEEP depression this fall – a combination of first trimester hormones affecting me and a running injury at the same time and the only thing that helped was saying out loud (to myself and others) “I am very depressed right now. This is very hard.”

    • Cait says...

      I’m sorry you went through that. That sounds like a great reminder to yourself. I always say the first trimester (for me, most of my 4 pregnancies, and despite not being that sick) is like a black hole. If I can remember that at the beginning and during, it’s still hard but easier to get through.

  17. fgb says...

    What an inspiring bad ass! Thank you for the introduction COJ!

  18. Stephanie L. says...

    One sentence smacked me and I had to re-read it: “ When you’re growing up, at least from my experience, I just wanted to be able to pass as someone who might’ve had a mom, someone who might’ve had female guidance.”

    The idea of just wanting to be able to pass as someone else made me want to write a list off all of the types of people I have wanted to be able to “pass as” — a competent person, a stable person, a person who has her shit together. The list goes on. I spent so many years trying to pass as someone else that I forgot to pay attention to who I actually AM. Working on that now. Loved this post and it was exactly what I needed in this moment.

  19. Chelsea says...

    This was great! I really enjoyed watching Olympic Dreams. It was fun to see a more behind the scenes look at what the Olympic village is like and the experience of being a “normal” Olympic athlete competing but not medaling or being a superstar. It was all filmed during the Olympics in the Olympic village, so it is really cool.

    Also, this Dartmouth ladies improve group sounds amazing! Alexi, Mindy Kaling, and Rachel Dratch are all alum!?!

  20. Vero says...

    Wow I love this. Thanks Alexi <3

  21. jane says...

    Wow, really looking forward to reading this book!

    Also this quote is super useful, thank you:
    “Racing is about understanding that pain is a sensation but not necessarily a threat; the best thing you can to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other.”

    PS: LOVE your outfits especially that book cover – so good!

  22. Jessica says...

    Thank you for this! Great post

  23. Wendy says...

    “Actions change your thoughts over time, and over even more time thoughts change your feelings.”

    Man, this really resonated with me as I know that so deeply to be true, but have never said it out loud. My feelings are so different mentally than they were several years ago and it 100% all started with actions I forced myself take even when I didn’t want to. I never thought about it that way before. Thanks, Alexi. I will have to check out her book!

  24. elaine says...

    Thank you for this post! I checked out Olympic Dreams trailer, and this is right up my alley.

  25. Em says...

    I love this blog and have always enjoyed the Beauty Uniform series, but never really connected to the folks featured (nothing to do with them, more me not seeing any of myself or relating to them). This one has brought me to tears. What an AMAZING WOMAN! Que long and deep internet dive into Alexi. Thank you for the Tuesday inspiration CoJ team! <3 Cannot wait to read her book.

  26. Jean says...

    LOVE this post! Thank you!!

  27. Carly Travis says...

    I absolutely loved this. Thank you! What a treat to get to know her.

  28. Julie says...

    As a former athlete, I loved this.

  29. Natalie says...

    WOW! Seeing COJ feature Alexi is like a dream come true. I went to high school and played sports with her growing up. She was a huge rock in my life with schoolwork, social life, sports, and all the other difficult things that teenagers face. She is truly so creative and energetic and magical. Cheers to Alexi being in the Olympics, continuing her creative efforts, and speaking out about mental health.

  30. Gina says...

    From one Greek-American to another – Bravo Alexi! You make us proud :)

  31. Audrey Hiatt says...

    This is my favorite beauty uniform you’ve ever done! Love Alexi!

    • Valeria says...

      Mine too! This is about actual beauty, the beauty you grow inside yourself and you can deeply feel looking at all the things that make you be you, even before being aknowledged by others.

  32. celeste says...

    As a runner, a motherless daughter, blue eyeliner wearer, and fan of Maya and Rachel, I put this book on hold and will watch Tracktown!

  33. C. says...

    I loved this post, and it was just what I needed to read today, feeling discouraged about so many things. I honestly am not that interested in what kind of makeup women wear (although I wish I had her hair). But her story is a triumph of her spirit, and I am so grateful to read about it. And in addition to her physical strength – she writes poetry! So wonderful! The hill conversation poem is excellent!

    • Amanda H says...

      Yes this post was just the mini pick me up I needed too! What a heavy week. I love her spirit and openness about depression. ❤️❤️

    • Angela says...

      Agree. I passed it up all day yesterday. Came back to check out COJ, not seeing anything new otherwise, and finally read it! WOW, so glad I did! I have been so down since last week, unable to focus, and really couldn’t stomach a beauty routine, but this kind of beauty I can get down with. Her story is about the kind of beauty I do want to attain, to foster inside. Thanks, Jenny, for the introduction. Alexi, you have a new fan! Thank you so much for shining a light on mental health.

  34. liz says...

    I love Alexi!!! Also yay for a beauty guide I can relate to too! I am also a Greek American and a runner and have similar hair and skin. I’ve followed her on insta for quite a while too, she’s genuinely awesome.
    Alexi: if you’re reading this, how often to you wash your hair? I also have dry Greek-y hair and am constantly being told to wash it less but am also getting sweaty every day with intense workouts and don’t want to feel disgusting by not washing it afters. PLEASE help! lol

  35. Rebecca says...

    Yes!! This was so good. I had not heard of Alexi before. I love that Cup of Jo spotlights inspiring badass women!!
    Most importantly, can we get an entire feature on Alexi’s scrunchy collection? Where are they from, girl?!?

  36. Sarah says...

    Her description of wearing her “race face” for herself rather than for others- “it’s more about accessing your most capable brave inner self than it is presenting something to the world.” SO well stated and relatable.

  37. Ellen says...

    Amazing!! When I was teaching little kids to swim, brave was the word that empowered little girls to jump in/dive/put their eyes in. Alexi has nailed it here – they seemed to grow this internal strength as they affirmed to me that they were brave, and the look on their face when they come out from the water <3

  38. Kate says...

    My heart “He told me to stop trying to convince myself not to be depressed — a depressed person can’t be convinced of anything.”

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring woman.

  39. MB says...

    Thank you CoJ for the introduction! What an inspiring woman, can’t wait to read Bravey

  40. Megan says...

    I had no idea about her! I cannot wait to read her book!

  41. Silver says...

    wow, anyone else get tears in their eyes reading this awesome interview?

  42. Molly says...

    Yay! Thanks for featuring Alexi! As a runner, I’ve followed her on Instagram for a while and enjoyed her film, Tracktown. She has been through so much and I applaud her for bringing more awareness, and hopefully de-stigmatizing, mental health issues that are rampant among elite athletes. Also, she’s just a badass.

  43. She is incredibly inspiring – this is the content I need right now, thank you SO MUCH.

  44. Anne says...

    Yes I love Alexi! So happy to see her featured here!

    She also had a phenomenal piece in The Atlantic recently about supporting young runners who are going through puberty, instead of pushing them to train so hard that their bodies can’t develop normally. Best line: “It is better to be 100 percent healthy and 80 percent fit than 100 percent fit and 80 percent healthy.”

  45. As a fellow Greek who uses about a liter of olive oil a week I am here for this beauty uniform especially the part about using olive oil for face and hair care.

  46. L. says...

    A plug for her film Tracktown, which is so very wonderful! Can’t wait to see Olympic Dreams.

  47. Angie says...

    My favourite beauty uniform in a long, long time. Thanks for this moment of goodness today.

    Jenny’s voice brings something new to it too.

  48. Elizabeth says...

    Yes! Alexi! Her movies are great and her perspective and story and style are wonderful. Thanks for highlighting! CoJ readers are braveys :)

  49. Megan says...

    THIS is why I’ve been a loyal reader for years. Yes! This was so off my radar – and I thank you. Please keep highlighting inspiring people amongst all of this hate and sadness. What an incredible woman :)

    • Rosa says...

      Second!

  50. Kaitlin says...

    I’m a distance runner (for fun, nothing more), who lost my dad to suicide five years ago next month. Alexi, your book couldn’t have found me at a more critical time. I can already tell it’s going to be one of my best reads of this year. Thank you in advance!

  51. Megan says...

    What a woman. What a role model. Love these words.

  52. diana K. says...

    AHHH! SO inspired by her. How have I not known about her?

  53. Calla says...

    so inspiring, love her outlook!

  54. Becca G says...

    “Pain is a sensation but not necessarily a threat.” What a cool sentiment AND exactly how I felt about childbirth!

    • AMK says...

      💕💕👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽💯💯🎯

    • Cece says...

      So true! When people ask about my home birth experience I often try and compare it to long distance running actually! The sense of being totally consumed by something but not overwhelmed by it, and the positivity and endorphin rush of it.

  55. C says...

    Remember when you wrote about how we can have mentors we don’t know, but they’re still really important for you? Add Alexi to the list. Reading this felt like it healed some deep, broken part of my teen and early 20s self, something I didn’t know I still needed to hear.

  56. a.n. says...

    wowowow, loved this one and putting Bravey on my list *immediately*

  57. Tina, NYC says...

    What a beautiful human being! Thank you CoJ and Jenny for introducing us to her!
    I am ordering her book right away!

  58. A says...

    Joining the crowd of women falling in love with Alexi at first read and hot footing it now to pick up Bravey!

  59. Lex says...

    Love this quote from Alexi: “pain is a sensation but not necessarily a threat.” It’s so true that we often have to experience challenging or painful moments but those moments are necessary to our growth or satisfaction. Whether it’s running farther than you did the day/week/month before, nailing that job presentation after hours of preparation, or holding your child after birth, knowing that you pushed through those painful moments can make that moment all the sweeter.

  60. Annie says...

    Can’t wait to read this book! Thank you for introducing me to this amazing young woman!

    • AV says...

      One of my favorite Beauty Uniforms thus far! What a powerful inspiration you are, Alexi!

  61. Emily says...

    This is so so awesome! Amazing that she is so vulnerable and open about her experience with depression. Just wanted to add – because she does not mention it – that sometimes putting ‘one foot in front of the other’ is not possible without medication. For some folks it is, and that’s great, but I think it’s important to seize every opportunity in discussing mental health to destigmatize meds. I put off trying anxiety meds for 5 years, always thinking my anxiety and depression weren’t bad ENOUGH, I didn’t want to have to rely on a pill, “no one else in my family needs this so why should I,” etc. I did all the other stuff you’re supposed to do – exercise, sleep, go to therapy, eat well, meditate. And it all helps! But when I finally tried Lexapro, I was so, so sad that I’d denied myself 5 years of feeling truly better because I didn’t want to be a “person on meds.” As the saying goes, if you can’t make your own serotonin, store-bought is fine!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      YES!!! Agree wholeheartedly.

    • Alex says...

      Jesus loves me this I know… for he gave me lexapro!

      Name the author ❤️

    • Emily says...

      Yes!! Same here. I started Zoloft this past summer after years of anxiety. The pandemic, etc pushed me over the top and I finally agreed to try SSRIs. It works well for me, so glad I started.

    • Andrea says...

      Thank you Emily for making this point. I suffer from depression and anxiety and at times in my life I have been on meds and I’m very proud of the fact I got that help when it was desperately needed. My heart hurts when there’s stigma about meds. Absolutely no shame in some store bought happy if that’s what’s best!

      COJ, love that you always have such diversity in the women you feature. Such inspiration.

    • jones says...

      Absolutely true Emily. I have depression and anxiety that was manageable for years and then my sister died 2 years ago and I had to go on medication to help me manage. I was scared it would change the fundamentals of who I am, but it helped to make the lows more manageable.

    • Thank you for this. I’m on Day 2 of Zoloft after years and years of anxiety I was convinced wasn’t “bad enough.” I’m hopeful. :)

    • Amy says...

      I said this in another post recently, that Prozac is my new best friend. I feel so much more like myself. I’m so, so grateful my doc pushed me to try it.

    • Abbey says...

      I had post partum depression that turned into persistent depression/anxiety for 7 years before I started taking meds! My doctor made me feel bad for asking for something to help with it, and I’m not sure if it was perception because of my mental state or if he actually made me feel bad. However, due to that I fought for so long in silence before I couldn’t handle it anymore. 2 years ago I started taking celexa and was very sad for my prior self that I waited for so long to take it and couldn’t get those years back. I’m sure like many with mental health issues, I want to find better solutions and help to de-stigmatize mental health.

    • Michaela says...

      Adding my voice to the chorus of folks who didn’t think my anxiety warranted meds, but worked with my therapist to destigmatize until I was comfortable talking to a doctor. And it’s so much better! I feel MORE like myself, not less (as I feared). Just a more even stable version of myself and less like a primal version of myself. And I’ve said before and will say again Thank You Jo for being one of the voices that help me make that choice for myself (with my doctor).

    • Thiy says...

      Thanks for naming this Emily. I have had depression and anxiety to varying degrees my whole life and like others didn’t want to have to “rely” on medication and was afraid of it to be quite honest. The one positive thing about experiencing postpartum depression after my second baby is that it pushed me to go on medication (Zoloft, and strongly recommended by the amazing therapist I started seeing). It’s been a year and I can fully say I am now a better and version of myself – I cope way better with stress and sadness, and can exist without the low grade disengagement I had continually felt day to day. Life changing for me.

    • Kate says...

      @Alex it’s our Cheetah Leader, the one and only, Glennon Doyle :)

    • Harriet says...

      @Cassie The beginning of the meds journey is the hardest. Be so so gentle with yourself while you figure out what works for you and while your mind adjusts! I was terrified of feeling worse, but once I just accepted that it would be a process it got a little easier. And then once the meds kicked in it got WAY easier. I never realized how hard things were for me until they weren’t hard anymore. Also, don’t be afraid to seek out what really works. I started Lexapro and it had side affects on my ability to orgasm that I didn’t appreciate (understatement lol.) Switched to Prozac and it’s been smooth sailing since! YOU GOT THIS! <3

    • Molly says...

      Alex, who said “Jesus loves me this I know, for he gave me Lexapro.” ??? Hilarious. Doesn’t rhyme for me, as Zoloft is the one that works in my cocktail, but I do love that;)

    • @Harriet: THANK YOU, so much, for your encouragement. I’ve heard things can be rocky at first and I’m already feeling some rocks in my first few days. But your comment gives me so much hope! I am, as you advise, going to accept that it is a process, and keep working through it. Appreciate you. <3

  62. Jessie says...

    So happy to see Alexi’s face on Cup of Jo as she is one of my very favorite runners. I follow her Instagram and am constantly reminded by her that I have the tenacity do whatever I set my mind to. She reminds me that the confidence in being purely yourself is beautiful. I can’t wait to read her book!

  63. A says...

    I love that these beauty uniforms take such an all-encompassing approach to beauty. It’s refreshing to see what makes these women feel beautiful: strong mental health, empowerment, self acceptance. I love the makeup/skincare content as well and it’s incorporated so thoughtfully that it doesn’t feel like it’s “trivial” or “superficial” as it is so often. Thank you for sharing a variety of looks, ages, styles, and beauty priorities with us!

    • K says...

      Totally agree with this, A!

  64. marcella says...

    have loved her for many years, since i ran cross country in high school in 2012 when i would watch her and jordan hasay run at oregon (way faster than me as a d3 runner!) and also loved her movie, tracktown. excited for this book!

  65. Lynn says...

    “Actions change your thoughts over time, and over even more time thoughts change your feelings.” That’s just so huge to understand. Love to you and your journey, Alexi.

    • Agnès says...

      Lynn, I love that quote!

  66. CaraM says...

    Oh man, I had no idea Alexi existed and now I’m ready to buy the book! Thank you so much, Alexi, for bringing mental illness to the forefront. Having had a lifelong battle with anxiety and several bouts of depression, I think it is important to get the help you need to heal your brain over time! Also, all of Alexi’s smiles are infectious!

  67. LSH says...

    I had not heard of Alexi before but as someone who is a sometimes runner and a person who deals with depression, I am so intrigued by her story! I just bought her book as a result. I love that CoJ introduces me to amazing, inspiring people that I would not necessarily know about otherwise!

  68. Jo says...

    God damn I LOVE HER.

  69. Hannah says...

    What an inspiring woman! Thanks for sharing her story.

  70. Julie says...

    Oh, I needed this today! How did you know?

  71. Eloise says...

    Alexi is new to me but I guess there is such a thing as love at first read (thanks, Jenny!). Bravey is now at the top of my list!

  72. Elizabeth says...

    Obsessed with her and can’t wait to share her and her story with my young daughter. Inspiring!