Bravey by Alexi Pappas: A Book Review

Justin Horneker · January 22, 2021

Bravey by Alexi Pappas is the new running book that everyone’s talking about! Pappas has long been an influential figure in running. From her time at Dartmouth and the University of Oregon, to representing Greece in the Olympics. However, the stories she conveys in her memoir Bravey, show that we never know the full story looking in from the outside on someone’s life. Bravey is a selection of essays where Pappas takes us along her journey of childhood trauma, Olympic heights, depression, and learning valuable lessons.

Running and life are often interconnected journeys. Pappas shows us some key lessons for thriving along our journeys through the lens of an Olympian who is still figuring things out.

Bravey by Alexi Pappas: 5 lessons from the new memoir!

Alexi Pappas' Bravey

1. The Rule Of Thirds

The rule of thirds was developed by Oregon Track Club Elite coach Ian Dobson. It dictates that you should have ⅓ of your training feeling good, ⅓ of your training feeling ok, and ⅓ of your training feeling “crappy.” Spend too much time in any of these zones and your training becomes unbalanced. Too much time feeling bad and you risk burn out. Too much time feeling good means you aren’t pushing yourself enough in training. As with anything in running, the rule of thirds can also be applied to our life in general. Remembering the good can help us through those times where we aren’t feeling our best.

2. Rules Are Made To Be Broken

In the chapter of Bravey titled ‘Rules,’ Pappas describes her reluctance to shed the internal rules she made for herself. This leads to problems when your predetermined rules become detrimental to your general growth. Rules are great to have but they should have built in grace and fluidity. Rules are made to be broken and often lead to our biggest breakthroughs.

3. Listen To Your Body

If you’ve ever run with me, you have probably heard the phrase “our bodies tell us everything we need to know.” However, listening to our bodies isn’t always intuitive. In Bravey, Pappas describes her time after Rio where instead of listening to her body and taking a break, she kept running. Even when she was injured and feeling depressed, she tried pushing through the noise. That noise is there for a reason though, and ignoring the warning signs will always lead to injury or burnout.

Lessons learned from Olympian Alexi Pappas in her new memoir Bravey

4. Schedule Your Willpower 

Some of the most practical advice from Pappas’ Bravey is scheduling your use of willpower. Our willpower is finite. We use it to make decisions. We use it to push harder in workouts and we use it often in our day to day life. Schedule those decisions in advance! We all know that feeling of indecisiveness after a hard workout. Wouldn’t it make life easier if we scheduled for that indecisiveness? When your tank runs empty, easy decisions become hard to make and hard decisions become untenable. 

5. Strong People Ask For Help

The pinnacle of Bravey is Pappas’ journey through childhood trauma and later coming to terms with her diagnosis of clinical depression. Depression is a hard topic to tackle, but Pappas does an amazing job sharing her story. She shows us that depression isn’t something to hide from and can impact anyone. Just like in training, ignoring your body’s warning signs will lead you down a longer road to eventual recovery. Pappas fights back against an initial reluctance to see a “talk doctor” because of preconceived notions towards therapy and what that would mean for her self-image. She finally takes that step. Although it wasn’t an immediate fix, therapy helped her feel like herself again while understanding the importance of self-care. 

Bravey by Alexi Pappas is a must-read book for any runner. It goes beyond the typical runner biography and ventures into the territory of self-empowerment. Teaching you how to be the best version of yourself, becoming a Bravey! If you are looking for other book recommendations, check them out here!

Channel your inner Bravey on your running journey! Sign up for Charge Running and start your positive training today!

Comments 0

Download Charge Running today!

Access unlimited LIVE and on-demand classes for just $20 a month when you subscribe annually! Includes a 7-day free trial.