Read how a model-turned-wellness guru and entrepreneur manages a crazy work schedule – and still fits in training for full and half marathons from Adidas.
Modeling, teaching Pilates, developing menus for the restaurant she owns with her husband, running…
Oh, and she’s opening a new business this fall – what doesn’t Alex Kate Knight do? The Melbournian moved to Manhattan via a stint in Europe on a modeling contract, but it’s safe to say that’s not the only thing that’s keeping her busy now that she’s put some roots down.
“It’s a city of opportunity, and is definitely overwhelming to me like anyone that puts their first step onto this amazing island – but get yourself settled, find your base, and you can fit in any dream that you have,” she says.
For her, that dream included an entrepreneurial component – she supported the opening of coffee shop/café Bluestone Lane, now 12 locations strong, with her husband in 2013, and is getting ready to launch a part-gluten-free bakery called Husk. “I’m very driven – I always have been,” she says of her entrepreneurial spirit. “I build a business or I think of an idea because I feel it’s lacking,” she says, noting that gluten-free bakeries and that sort of community feel within the café scene – a really common thing in Melbourne – wasn’t as present in NYC. With Bluestone Lane and Husk, she and her husband were seeking to fill those gaps in the market. It also helps that she’s a holistic nutritionist and has a biomedical science degree – “My education basically drives how I run my life now,” she says, including how she runs her businesses.
She can use that base of knowledge – her understanding of the human body from the inside out on a cellular level – when developing the menus for Bluestone Lane, something she dedicates two days a week to doing. A third day is spent working on Husk. The rest of her time is a whirlwind of meetings, events, training clients, teaching Pilates, blogging, emailing… the to-do list goes on. You’d think with all of that on her plate, her exercise routine may fall by the wayside but that’s not the case at all.
“Although I could be wildly busy I always factor time for myself and, personally, that’s my workout time because it’s really my moving meditation and my time to balance and check in,” she says.
A former track star (she was eighth in Australia for the 400 meters and ninth for the 800 meters from ages 14 to 18), Knight suffered a back injury at age 18 that ended her career on the track. But, it certainly didn’t stunt her love of running. “Running has always been there for me and it’s still the greatest thrill,” she says.
She’s run a full marathon for which she raised $20K for MND, a muscular dystrophy charity and has also participated in half-marathons for Every Mother Counts. Even when she’s not training for a specific race, she averages 12 miles a week. “I know how I feel if I haven’t done it for a few days and I’m not my best self,” she says.
“I use the adidas Train and Run app for the analytics like distance, time, and pace that keeps my training going in the right direction,” she explains. She’ll use the app for her next training endeavor, likely the New York City Half Marathon next spring.
But, it’s certainly not easy to balance her grueling work schedule and training for road races, whether it’s a full or half marathon. She says it’s her “Melbournian” roots that help her. “[In Melbourne] everyone works hard and is inspired and driven, but at the same time, when it’s time to check out, that’s the time to go and workout, or spend time with family or friends. I think that balanced lifestyle is probably just innate in my upbringing and that’s really what I have found myself working on now later on in life and sharing that with others.”
“Sometimes it’s getting up a little bit earlier, or declining a dinner date to simply get the training in,” she continues. “I make [exercise] my number one because I ask a lot of my body and I want it to respond in a particular way, and granting it what it needs, both physically and in regard to fuel, is really important to me.”
Speaking of fuel, one thing she never skimps on is breakfast: “I’m not that girl that works out until the last second and then races out the door with coffee in hand – I really take the time to make a nourishing breakfast at home almost every day,” she says. (One of her go-to’s: A breakfast bowl with quinoa, egg, avocado, spinach, and chili.)
Another key diet component for Knight is healthy carbs – that’s actually the basis for her starting Husk, which will have 50% gluten-free products and 50% wholesome, real grain bread. “Grains and carbohydrates should not be feared – they’re just a little bit misunderstood,” she says, “When they’re in their raw, unrefined, clean form, they actually are a part of the macronutrients that we need to sustain a healthy lifestyle.”
And really, that self-care in terms of both nutrition and fitness pay her back tenfold in her modeling career: “That confidence that comes from feeling fit is kind of that radiation that comes from your body that is unspoken,” she says. “As a model, which is a really tough industry, constantly being under scrutiny, you need external support to get through day-to-day life,” she says, “Staying healthy, that’s my life support mechanism to keep up the busy lifestyle that modeling requires with traveling and different shoots.”
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