This is a guest post from Alexi Pappas, a Greek-American who set the record for a Grecian woman running the 10K at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Alexi is also an actor and a writer who loves sharing her message of positivity and confidence, especially to young women. Oh, and she is a big fan of SmoothieBox!
My Olympic training team drives together in a team van 30-45 minutes down the mountains from 8,000 feet to 4,500 feet elevation to train. We like to “sleep high” and “train low,” especially in the winter. I love the team van rides.
On the way to practice, I visualize with music about the hard work ahead. On the way back, I gulp down my post-workout fuel and relish in the challenge I just overcame. My goal is always to try my best.
After a hard training session, the most nourishing and refreshing fuel for me is a protein-filled smoothie. As I’ve said, I live at altitude in the mountains, where fresh produce is about as abundant as the oxygen in the air — there isn’t much of it.
The fruits and vegetables at our one grocery store have often traveled so far that they are wilted by the time I can get my hands on them. I am grateful, of course, that we have the resources we need, but to train at the top level, I like to fuel with the best resources. A wilted banana makes me feel like a wilted athlete.
When I learned about SmoothieBox, my whole world changed: Suddenly, I could have an accessible, quality, wholesome post-workout nutrition solution ready-to-go without having to run around town figuring out which shops have the freshest produce that day.
One of the most important resources an athlete has is willpower: A real, depletable resource that becomes drained over the course of the day by activities big and small. Thinking too much about my post-workout smoothie drains willpower that I would have liked to keep saved for the workout itself. When I added SmoothieBox to my life, I could feel my day getting just a bit lighter.
It sounds silly, I know, but planning adequate nutrition is a serious consideration for an Olympic athlete. After a workout, I don’t have the energy to drive to a smoothie bar and wait in line. In the morning before a workout, it’s no fun to make a mess in the kitchen when my mind is focused on my day’s training ahead. And living in a remote area, it can be a challenge to find the right ingredients.
But with SmoothieBox, I have confidence that all those boxes are checked — and I can focus on my job, which is training for the 2020 Olympics.
Alexi Pappas is a Greek-American Olympian, actor, and writer. Alexi competed in the Rio Olympics, setting a national record for Greece in the 10k with a time of 31:36 and is now training for the Tokyo Olympics. She was featured on the cover of the Runner’s World Magazine 50th Anniversary issue and was named the face of the “New Boom” in running. As a filmmaker Alexi co-wrote, co-directed, and stars in the feature film Tracktown and her upcoming Olympic Dreams, which will premiere at SXSW this spring. Additionally, Alexi is in the process of writing a book of essays with Random House.