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Leader Spotlight: Alli Phillips, Austin

Something people may not know about me is...

I think many “professional associates" (people that know me as "fitness leader") are surprised to find out I am mother of 5, and that I consider being a mom my first, most important job and life calling.

I think many of my “mom friends” are surprised to find out that I have a career in the fitness industry. I started teaching fitness classes, then called “aerobics” back in the day, when I was 17 years old -- 35 years ago! -- and I’ve never worked in any other field.

My professional bio includes: Programs Director for gyms and studios all over Austin, Professor of Exercise Physiology at UT in the Department of Kinesiology, Founder of "Backyard Fitness,” and now Team Leader for iGnite and Coach for Austin Youth Fitness (AYF). AYF is where my calling and my passion intersect.

If I could go back in time, I'd tell myself...

Be as kind, gentle, and forgiving with yourself as you are with others. "Loving one another" includes self love.

In my free time you'll find me doing...

ANYTHING with my kids! They are super active and each of them plays numerous sports, so there’s not a lot of “free time” in our schedule, but when we have the opportunity, our favorite free time activities are:

  • hiking/running on the Barton Creek Greenbelt (with our dog Harley!)

  • biking at Town Lake

  • swimming at Barton Springs or Deep Eddy

  • kayaking or SUPing on Town Lake

  • "just playing" at Zilker or our neighborhood park (throwing the baseball, lacrosse ball, or frisbee, and playing kickball or whiffleball OR a combo of any of the above!)

Being a part of iGnite has meant to me...

I was drawn to iGnite because of the emphasis on what I refer to as “triune fitness,” the connection of body to mind and spirit. And then, upon learning more about iGnite, the core value of “community" and the sincere care and concern expressed by the leaders for each and every member, had me sold.

I knew I had to be a part of the most personal (and professional) fitness organization I’d ever encountered in my 30 years in the “industry."

In the last year, my kids and I have been on the receiving end of the care, concern, love, and support, that our iGnite community provides. Truly, I can’t imagine how I would have survived the last year without Neissa, my team, and our members. I cannot begin to describe my deep gratitude for iGnite. As anyone who’s experienced even just one class knows, iGnite goes waaaay beyond “physical fitness,” and changes the lives of women and their families, including mine.

A few of my favorite online accounts to follow are...

My IG and FB feeds are primarily friends and family (and friends of my kids!). I do follow some fitness, health, and yoga providers, but when I check my social media I usually just scroll past most “professional” posts and look for anything new from friends and family. The exceptions of course are iGnite and Austin Youth Fitness!

And I do stop scrolling to read the intelligent, thoughtful, and thought-provoking messages from the following:

  • Richard Rhor of the Center for Action and Contemplation @CACRadicalGrace

  • Glennon Doyle @GlennonDolye

And these fitness/wellness businesses have wonderful, uplifting messaging too:

  • Oiselle Running @Oiselle

  • Sukha Yoga @SukhaYogaAustin

  • David Overholt Yoga @ DavidOYoga

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