Cover model Alexa Towersey on quitting alcohol and overcoming injury

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Our very own STRONG Australia Head Trainer, and mental health speaker and ambassador for Livin, Alexa Towersey’s fitness journey begun at the age of 15 when she was bullied for being too skinny.

Now rocking a six pack, she spends her days empowering her personal training clients, facilitating training and mental health workshops, and helping some of the nation’s top celebrities fulfil their aesthetic and health goals. But her strength and resilience wasn’t just built in the weights room. Towersey grew up dealing with her father’s alcohol abuse and more recently suffered a horrific injury that left her unable to walk or train. Here’s her story.

SMFA: Tell us about your childhood.

Towersey: My dad, grandad and uncle were all alcoholics, so alcoholism ran in my family. When I was younger, I never drank because I enjoyed the taste of it, I drank because I enjoyed the feeling of being drunk. Following my dad’s death from liver cirrhosis, I made the decision to quit – it’s been 11 years and I haven’t touched a drop. It’s the best yet hardest decision I ever made.

SFMA: How about your more recent challenges? 

Towersey: In 2017, I was diagnosed with degenerative osteoarthritis in my left hip. In the space of eight to 10 months I went from being an athlete to someone who couldn’t walk. For someone who had identified her whole life with being physically strong, I felt like my identity had been challenged. Add to that the social isolation, chronic pain, sleepless nights and fears of becoming addicted to pain medication – safe to say, I was a mess. I was told by five orthopaedic surgeons that I had no alternative but to get a full hip replacement or I wouldn’t walk again.

SFMA: What does your training regimen look like?

Towersey: Having a significant injury forced me to reassess the way I train. When I was younger, my body responded really well to high-volume and high-intensity training. Now, I get better results both aesthetically and performance-wise when I focus more on stress management and recovery. I perform two weight training sessions (I love functional bodybuilding Marcus Filly style and gymnastics strength) and three Pilates sessions per week, and boxing wherever I can fit in. I walk outside every day to reach my 10,000 steps, recover and meditate.

SFMA: How would you describe your personality? 

Towersey: A passionate adrenaline junkie with a huge heart.

SFMA: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Towersey: Nobody ever regrets being kind.

SFMA: What do you like to do to relax and unwind?

Towersey: I’m a horror movie aficionado so you’ll usually find me trying to find a film that scares me, then trying to find a friend willing to be scared with me!

SFMA: Do you have any tips to share that help with your own daily mental wellbeing?

Towersey: I have a gratitude journal, and every night before bed I write down five to 10 things I’m grateful for – even if they haven’t happened yet. I also write down one kind thing I did for somebody, one kind thing somebody did for me, and one thing I learnt that day. Not only does it help clear your mind, but it also allows you to reframe your world in a more positive light, especially if you’ve had a rough day. 

To read more about Towersey’s story – including her near death experience – and training and mental health tips, read our full cover model interview in the February/March edition of the magazine.