ABOUT THE BOOK
"Renaissance runner" (New York Times) Alexi Pappas—Olympic athlete, actress, filmmaker and writer—shares what she's learned about confidence, self-reliance, mental health, embracing pain, and achieving your dreams in this revealing and inspiring memoir-in-essays.
run like a bravey
sleep like a baby
dream like a crazy
replace can't with maybe
When Alexi Pappas was four years old, her mother died by suicide, drastically altering the course of Pappas’s life and setting her on a lifelong search for female role models. When her father signed his bereaved daughter up for sports teams as a way to keep her busy, female athletes became the first women Pappas looked up to, and her Olympic dream was born. At the same time, Pappas had big creative dreams, too: she wanted to make movies, write, and act. Despite setbacks and hardships, Pappas refused to pick just one lane. She put in a tremendous amount of hard work and wouldn’t let anything stand in her way until she achieved all of her dreams, however unrelated they may seem to outsiders. In a single year, 2016, she made her Olympic debut as a distance runner and wrote, directed, and starred in her first feature film.
But great highs are often accompanied by deep lows; with joy comes sorrow. In Bravey, Pappas fearlessly and honestly shares her battle with post-Olympic depression and describes how she emerged on the other side as a thriving and self-actualized woman. Unflinching, exuberant, and always entertaining, Bravey showcases Pappas’s signature, charming voice as she reflects upon the touchstone moments in her life and the lessons that have powered her career as both an athlete and artist—foremost among them, how to be brave.
Pappas’s experiences reveal how we can all overcome hardship, befriend pain, celebrate victory, relish the loyalty found in teammates, and claim joy. In short: how every one of us can become a Bravey.
“Vulnerable. Honest. Powerful. Bravey is the kind of book I want to tell my friends about, recommend to strangers, and one day encourage my daughter to read. Alexi is an incredible storyteller whose willingness to delve into the scary parts of life makes Bravey an important read.”
“If you need a shot of courage, resilience, and motivation, look no further than Bravey. Alexi Pappas's fearlessness and inner power offers a guide for how we can all step into the lives we most desire. Honest and propulsive, Bravey shows how we can overcome past traumas to run whatever our race might be—and we know we will have Alexi rooting for us.”
“Alexi Pappas has turned unimaginable loss and pain into an engine for empathy, uniqueness and excellence. I’ve always believed that your greatest tragedy can become be your greatest strength, and Alexi is living proof. Be brave, read Bravey, be a Bravey.”
“Like a sort of human Möbius strip, Alexi Pappas has the ability to turn the pain and loss she’s experienced in her life into a tool for repairing that pain and loss. And then to repair yours. Or rather, to help you repair yours—she has strong feelings that we all need to learn things for ourselves. This is no glib, triumphal memoir of overcoming adversity. Pappas is a genuine and vulnerable narrator, and as she fledges from nest after nest, she makes plenty of falls. Like any story about real human growth, hers is not linear or neat. But through it all she stays open to what comes next—as good a description of what it means to be brave as I’ve ever heard.”
“Bravey heralds the debut of a skilled memoirist. In heartfelt, vibrant prose, Alexi Pappas gives us her captivating life story. A beautiful read that is sure to resonate deeply.”
“This is not only an inspiring look inside the mind of a gifted athlete—it’s an arresting debut by a gifted writer. Alexi Pappas reveals how we can find the courage to face our fears, the grit to achieve our goals, and the resilience to bounce forward after failure and heartbreak. I couldn’t put it down.”
“Bravey is at once a memoir of an inspiring young life-in-progress, and also a practical ‘how-to’ manual of willpower and overcoming. It’s about dealing with the life you’re born into and have little control over, and the larger quest for the greatest expression of oneself. Braveyis also a unique articulation of the necessary dual tracks of visualizing a reality and imagining your life into existence, along with all the hard work and the commitment that is required. Wish I could have read it as a younger person!”
“I think there is a reason why we encounter certain books in life. I was awed by Alexi Pappas’s beautiful memoir Bravey. It resonated so deeply with me that at times it felt like Alexi was inside my own head. Her story shows us how to build mental strength and what it means for superheroes to make their own capes. Bravey offers essential guidance to anyone dreaming big dreams.”
“With Bravey, Alexi Pappas tells a story of preserving through hardship, finding your footing as a leader, and harnessing the unrivaled power of teamwork. Her book, which is candid, funny, and real, offers practical guidance to those looking to forge through obstacles, build their teams, and become leaders in their own lives.”
“Alexi’s heartbreaking and hilarious book inspired even me to want to put on some sneakers and run.”
“Bravey made me laugh out loud, brought me to tears, and gave me so many mantras I now live by. Alexi not only has a powerful way with words, but also uses the stories and lessons in this beautiful book as an intimate view into who she is. If you read this book, then you know Alexi, and knowing Alexi is truly a gift.”
“A celebrity running memoir on the outside; on the inside, an instruction manual for thriving based on a lifetime of hard-earned wisdom. Add writing to Pappas’s domains of success…. From the first page, Pappas is vulnerable, honest, and courageous—not to mention funny. Whether writing about social awkwardness, professional disappointments, or her mother’s suicide, she maintains a buoyant spirit that becomes wonderfully contagious…. Inspiring, yes, but more to the point: genuinely empowering. An utterly winning collection of personal essays.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“In this strong debut, Olympian Pappas shares her inspiring life story of overcoming tragedy as a child to enjoy a flourishing, multifaceted career as an athlete, filmmaker, and actor…. Pappas’s extraordinary tale is skillfully told and profoundly inspiring.”