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CONVERSATION WITH HIGH RISER: ALEXANDRA BARDALES

alexandra3CrossFit athlete Alexandra Bardales knows a thing or two about perseverance. This Southern California native grew up in a family of active athletes – from her body-building brother to her horseback-riding sister. Alexandra has love and support all around but it is her father, an Olympic-class decathlete who was unable to compete in the 1980 Moscow Olympics due to the US boycott, that most inspires her pursuit of her CrossFit dreams.

Though she didn’t grow up as an athlete, she realized her inner competitive nature when she first began CrossFit three years ago. “The community made all the difference, and a year into it I had completely changed my views and realized how much I wanted to do better, how competitive I was, and how much my family was a part in my drive to be the best I could be in this sport. My drive and image of myself as an athlete continues to grow,” she told Rise Bar.

Alexandra credits her father with helping her to achieve her athletic prowess as she trains. She speaks to him every day, and he coaches her and offers her and her boyfriend Michel, also a CrossFit athlete, invaluable advice. “I love being able to go to him for my little accomplishments in training- and he loves to discuss this with Michel and I because it’s like it’s his language,” she told Rise Bar. Alexandra also keeps in touch with her dad’s former trainer, who told her that had her father competed in the 2012 London Olympic trials with the same numbers he achieved in 1980, he would have come in second and be on his way to the London Olympics.

Alexandra told Rise Bar that she’s especially proud of entering and taking first in her first powerlifting competition a year ago. With support from her friends and family, especially her dad, she can take on, and win, the challenges. Her father’s experiences are often very relatable to her. She recalls that “When I entered my first Powerlifting competition [my dad] wanted me to remember that my sport was CrossFit-not Powerlifting. So by me going in and competing against athletes who only train for that, was very similar to when decathletes enter a specific category of the decathlon in a competition.”

Beyond the support from her friends and family members, Alexandra herself also had some wise words to share with Rise Bar. Although some people might be intimidated by CrossFit, it’s important to get moving, active, and healthy, especially about how to treat your body. Alexandra told us “I want everyone to know why people may do CrossFit. Some are not competitive, and that’s okay. When you come to class, see it as your ONE hour of therapy for the day. Your YOU time. Everyone deserves their special hour of the day where they can do something fun and healthy, that gets them in a social atmosphere as well.” Alexandra is proof that with passion and inspiration, anything can be accomplished.

Nutrition is an especially crucial part of getting fit. Rise Bar asked Alexandra what her go-to food items are, and she responded with sweet potatoes or yams, grass-fed beef, hydrating energy drinks, spinach or kale, and protein powder. When she’s not in the kitchen juicing or making smoothies, Alexandra likes to share Rise Bars with her mom, who is an all-organic-raw-vegan. And finally, when she’s not training, Alexandra enjoys a bit of relaxation time. “I really enjoy being outside, having quiet time to myself, hanging out with my cat, and doing small relaxing things on the weekend with my boyfriend or family or very close friends,” she said.

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