“Renaissance runner” Alexi Pappas is an award-winning writer, filmmaker, Olympic athlete, and actress. Alexi’s memoir-in-essays, Bravey, with a foreword by Maya Rudolph, was published in January 2021 and was the number 1 new release in both the sports and film categories.
A Greek American, Pappas holds the Greek national record in the 10,000-meters and competed for Greece at the 2016 Olympic Games. Known for her presence as a role model to young athletes — female athletes in particular — Alexi has been profiled in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, Bon Appetit, and many others. Bravey has had a major impact on the cultural conversation around mental health, recently she has given a virtual talk with Bill Hader at SXSW about mental health and was a guest on Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert.” Ahead of her book publication, she was featured in aNew York Times op-doc about mental health. In addition she has been highlighted by CNN and Inc. Magazine for her work, presence as an athlete, and voice on mental health. With the topic of mental health on organizations’ minds from business to the sports and film worlds, Alexi is a natural leader in the conversation.
Alexi co-wrote and starred alongside Nick Kroll in Olympic Dreams, the first narrative feature film to ever be shot at the Olympic Games, which premiered at SXSW in 2019 and was distributed by IFC Films. She also co-wrote, co-directed, and starred in the feature film Tracktown with Rachel Dratch and Andy Buckley, which premiered at the LA Film Festival and was distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films. She most recently starred in and co-directed the upcoming film Not An Artist alongside Paul Lieberstein, Haley Joel Osment, RZA, Matt Walsh, and Ciara Bravo.
Alexi Pappas: I Made It to the Olympics. I Wasn’t Ready for What Happened Next
Alexi Pappas on Navigating through Mental Health Issues
Alexi Pappas on Opening Up About Mental Health
Alexi Pappas on Being a Champion of Your Situation
Alexi Pappas on Competing for Greece in the Olympics
Alexi Pappas on Pacing Yourself
Alexi Pappas’s Speech Topics
The Fearlessness in being a Bravey: Chasing Dreams and Achieving Success
Mental and physical health are both essential elements to high performance, but organizations and our vocabulary around mental health is far less evolved than it is for physical health. Teams need Alexi’s innovative concepts around vulnerability and courage to learn how to harness the unrivaled power of teamwork. Pappas offers a practical guide in how to do this after learning the hard way through suffering personal grief and post-Olympic depression after competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She wanted to keep chasing the next goal, but her mind — just like her body — needed to recover. Everything turned around when she learned she needed think about anxiety and depression like a “scratch on the brain.” It was an injury. From that moment on, Alexi began approaching mental healing with just as much dedication, time, and energy she approached Olympic training and massive success and personal growth followed. She motivates and inspires organizations to recognize that the mental health of any individual is central to performance. Organizations who consciously choose to embrace this perspective shift will see game-changing results in the performance of their teams.
Pappas shares innovative concepts which provide actionable takeaways for audiences. Willpower budgeting radically reengineers how individuals think of resilience and perseverance. Willpower is a finite, depletable resource, and consciously managing this precious resource is the key to a productive and positive day. In order to be the best versions of ourselves, we need to understand what depletes our willpower, what replenishes our willpower, and how to minimize things that can drain willpower away from important activities and key decisions that must be made. The more individuals understand their own willpower, the more effective they can be in their work and more satisfied with the overall balance in their lives. Alexi will also share the most valuable lesson she learned while training for the Olympics: “the rule of thirds.”