Episode 194 Alecia Aguilar Using Exercise to Manage Stress Transcript

This transcript is from episode 194 with guest Alecia Aguilar.

[00:00:00] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for tuning into the Drive On Podcast where we’re focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran active duty guard reserve or family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio And now let’s get on with the show.

[00:00:21] Scott DeLuzio: Hey

[00:00:23] Scott DeLuzio: everybody welcome back to the Drive On Podcast today. My guest is Alicia Aguilar. Alicia is a Navy veteran who, while serving discovered how exercise helped her to manage her stress and anxiety. She also created the awareness athletic sprint, and she’s here today to talk about her fitness journey and.

[00:00:46] Scott DeLuzio: How it helped her overall physical, and mental health through that whole process. So welcome to the show. I’m glad to have you.

[00:00:54] Alecia Aguilar: Thank you. I appreciate it. I’m glad to be here.

[00:00:57] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. So for the listeners out there who [00:01:00] might not be familiar with you and your journey why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background?

[00:01:05] Alecia Aguilar: Okay. Yeah. So I am originally from Nebraska. I served about seven years and then in the Navy and I was actually stationed in Norfolk, Virginia for five years and San Diego, California for two years. My job was aviation maintenance administration. So I did administrative work for search and rescue Hilos and I worked with the ETD Hawkeyes and there was a lot of like various different jobs in between, but majority of it was administrative work.

[00:01:36] Alecia Aguilar: So I recently just separated from the Navy. August, 2021. So I’m kind of like the whole veteran process is all flowing now. And the whole transition process.

[00:01:50] Scott DeLuzio: What do I do with myself now? All that kind of stuff. That’s probably going on with you right at this point,

[00:01:54] Alecia Aguilar: I actually I jumped straight into school and then I did a contractor job [00:02:00] for a little bit prior to moving back to Nebraska.

[00:02:02] Alecia Aguilar: So that’s where I am now. Back home, living with my parents. I was like, man, I’m so homesick for so long. Like I should probably spend some more time with them.

[00:02:12] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. It’s funny when you go away, whether it’s on a deployment or. Serving in different places around the country, around the world, even where you’re you’re away from home for so long, you start to miss some of those comforts that you grew up with and all the things that you’re just used to having around you.

[00:02:30] Alecia Aguilar: And all grass. Cause there was no grass in San Diego and like wind. It’s just like the weirdest things. It’s so funny. Yeah.

[00:02:39] Scott DeLuzio: Th there’s those little tiny things that you don’t even recognize while you’re there, but when you don’t have them, it’s ~like, ~ I feel like I’m lost now. I need that thing to ground me back to where I came from.

[00:02:51] Scott DeLuzio: ~Right? ~Yeah. Yeah. Yeah I felt the same way. Even on a deployment there, there would be, certain foods or whatever that our family would have [00:03:00] on certain holidays, like Easter or whatever. And you go into the chow hall in Afghanistan and it’s like, this is not it.

[00:03:08] Scott DeLuzio: And you try to make, do with what you have, but it’s never quite the same. So that’s funny. So yeah, go, let’s go back and talk a little bit about your fitness journey and talk about what led you up to getting into this discovering fitness as as a way to cope with your mental health in stress and anxiety of things that were going on in here.

[00:03:33] Alecia Aguilar: Yeah. Pretty much when I first got in Even prior to getting in. I never worked out at all. Like I never used to run, like I wasn’t into fitness at all. Like I barely passed the fitness portion in high school. And then I actually was barely able to get in because of my weight.

[00:03:50] Alecia Aguilar: So I had to do the measurements and things. So it really wasn’t a problem with me cause I was still comfortable with my body, but As I began [00:04:00] my career it was pretty quickly that I green gained responsibility as far as like administrative work or jobs. Like the more you learn, the more like people like to Okay, can you do this?

[00:04:11] Alecia Aguilar: Can you do this? So it was like, I was doing a lot of different things and I was doing well, but my stress increased very quickly throughout my career. So this is ~like, ~I would say maybe two years after I’d been in, I had all that responsibility. There was a day. I just noticed that I was like really stressed out to the point where I didn’t know what else to do.

[00:04:35] Alecia Aguilar: Like I literally went outside and I was like, I’m going to run a mile because I can’t get this shaky feeling like scary anxiety out of my body. So I ran a mile and I like, it was cool because I didn’t care about the pace. I didn’t care about what I look like. The only thing I was focusing on was putting one foot after another.

[00:04:55] Alecia Aguilar: And then, so after that mile I just stopped and I just [00:05:00] looked around. I’m like, wow. I feel actually better physically and mentally. And so I ended up making a routine of running a mile like the day after, and the day after I ran a little bit more and this actually progressed into basically my fitness career This was my journey where I found out I do love running and I do, I can do other workouts.

[00:05:27] Alecia Aguilar: So I started like kickboxing, I got back into lifting. I went to workout classes and someone who has social anxiety, like I actually joined a run club, which was scary at first, but it was like, so like uplifting. And that’s actually that’s how I fell in love. With fitness, because I just felt that overall relief, no matter what I did.

[00:05:50] Alecia Aguilar: And I wasn’t thinking about, what kind of things I need to get done at work, like who is stressing me out. We have a big day tomorrow. I was only focusing on [00:06:00] what was the task at hand, which was focusing on my physical health and my mental health.

[00:06:06] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And I like how you said in the beginning you were just focusing on one foot after the other and you’re like, you were that focused on that little, like that little bit at that point, you can’t be focused on.

[00:06:20] Scott DeLuzio: Okay. We have this big thing going on tomorrow at work or, next week is going to be a rough week or whatever. You’re focused on literally left foot, right foot left foot, right foot going through the motion of actually completing that run. , I know when I first did a half marathon, a few years ago, I was thinking to myself, how in the heck am I going to get through this?

[00:06:45] Scott DeLuzio: I’ve never run this far before. How am I going to do this? And so I thought to myself, okay I’ve run a mile before and I could do that. No problem. I can run a mile. So I focused on just running to that next mile checkpoint like, okay, [00:07:00] I’m going to start now. I’m just gonna run. I haven’t run a mile 13 times, but I’m just focusing on running that one mile.

[00:07:06] Scott DeLuzio: And that’s how I was able to, mentally complete that because I think my body could do it. It might, my legs were strong enough. My lungs, my cardio, all that stuff was strong enough. I just mentally think I. Was psyching myself out because it was a bigger distance than I’d ever done before.

[00:07:28] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Yeah. So I, it seems similar to what you were talking about, where you’re just focused on that one step at a time. And then, as you progress you focus on little bigger chunks of it at a time. And then eventually you get to the point where it’s just so routine.

[00:07:45] Scott DeLuzio: And you created a habit out of this where you’re going, running on a regular basis. It just seemed like. Just a normal thing to do, right?

[00:07:54] Alecia Aguilar: Yeah. Yeah. I like how you said, created a habit because as far as [00:08:00] going, I would say, it did progress, but I was basically not working out at all.

[00:08:05] Alecia Aguilar: And then, getting into a lot of stuff within a short time frame as far as like a few years. My biggest fear, especially with fitness was, basically. When you set a goal for yourself, as far as , I’m really gonna start like this , January 1st, like I’m getting back into the gym and then that was like, that was a big thing for me.

[00:08:25] Alecia Aguilar: Cause I, I would think about stuff. What if I don’t follow through? What if I slack and I’m not doing everything that, a fitness person would do. Cause it’s hard to categorize yourself as someone who is a fitness guru or anything. Yeah, just focusing on each day and each workout, like you don’t even think about like how consistently you’re doing.

[00:08:47] Alecia Aguilar: You’re just thinking about how consistently you’re feeling better.

[00:08:53] Scott DeLuzio: Good end result is that you are consistently starting to feel better and better, but before you [00:09:00] joined the military, were you dealing with a lot of like stress or anxiety? Did you have similar kind of issues before you even joined the military? Or was this something that kind of just got piled on as the more responsibilities for handling.

[00:09:10] Alecia Aguilar: I definitely, I had, social anxiety. I have a twin sister, so it’s kind of funny, like when you grow up with a twin that you’re close to, the characteristic split and we didn’t realize that until we separated in the military. So like growing up, she would always be the one to talk and make friends and all that.

[00:09:29] Alecia Aguilar: And then when we split, I’ve kind of got to my first command. I’m like, oh man, I have to make my own friends. Now. This is crazy, but, I mean, definitely like general anxiety and social anxiety, but it progressed a lot. , I don’t know if I would say I’m a perfectionist, but, my dad was pretty strict growing up too.

[00:09:50] Alecia Aguilar: So it’s kinda brought that mindset into my job. I want to do good and I don’t want to get yelled at, but yeah, [00:10:00] I just, yeah, I took the integrity. That’s probably the main thing that I took into my job. And, even though it’s paperwork for a lot of things, like as far as the departments I work in there’s some things like if you type a number wrong, like you could kill somebody.

[00:10:16] Alecia Aguilar: And I put a lot of weight on that. , Yeah, that definitely progressed. , in combination of general anxiety, what I had before and then just the ramped up responsibility.

[00:10:27] Scott DeLuzio: Right. Yeah, having that, that connection with your sister where, she was the one who was, but the seemed like the more outgoing type that was making all the connections and the friends and all that kind of stuff.

[00:10:41] Scott DeLuzio: That probably. Almost acted as a crutch, probably growing up where it’s like, okay, well, I don’t have to do this because you got your sister here. Who’s going out and doing that for you. And then now all of a sudden you’re thrown in the deep end of the pool, with very little swimming lessons.

[00:10:54] Scott DeLuzio: And now you have to figure out how to tread water on your own and do all of these things on your own. And that’s, [00:11:00] probably a difficult thing to do when, when. Done too much of that on your own growing up, right?

[00:11:07] Alecia Aguilar: Yes. So there’s actually, there’s a book on that and it’s so funny because we didn’t even realize how common.

[00:11:14] Alecia Aguilar: The, like those effects are with twins that are closed. So it’s called one of the same. And there’s a chapter about when twins, like separate in twins make their own, friends. And they were like, their parents are like, your friends or, you both have the same friends growing up in high school.

[00:11:33] Alecia Aguilar: So we’re like, oh, okay. And then, definitely it helped a lot. Joining our community, as far as the military, because everybody’s looking out for you and, you work closely with people. So I definitely, I took that to heart, being able to work closely with people because I just, as a twin, like I love being around people.

[00:11:57] Alecia Aguilar: And, so it was good to have, like that [00:12:00] support in that way.

[00:12:04] Scott DeLuzio: It’s definitely interesting. I’ve known several sets of twins throughout my life, but my father is actually a twin. , and, it actually gave me a little worry when I started having kids like, okay, how are we? Are we having twins now too? Are we in for a two for one special here?

[00:12:21] Scott DeLuzio: But it’s, it is true that their personalities are. They, they kind of feed off of each other, and they work together almost like one unit, like they just kinda come together and work together. Actually. , our family just got a couple of puppies from the same litter and I call them yin and yang because they’re like two different personalities.

[00:12:42] Scott DeLuzio: One is really hyped up at anxious or not anxious, energetic. And the other one is chill and relaxed and they just I don’t know that there are two different creatures. It’s almost like how could they come from the same, parents or whatever. It’s they’re just two different, you know?

[00:12:54] Scott DeLuzio: But, but it’s interesting just to see that those differences. , did you try anything else to help [00:13:00] relieve your stress and anxiety before you fell into this physical fitness routine that you got yourself into?

[00:13:10] Alecia Aguilar: I think joining as a 19 year old and I was raised with five kids. , as far as food, like I kinda just ate whatever was available for my parents. Like I, I had my mom’s house, my dad’s house, which my mom’s house was like a little bit healthier, but my dad’s like feeling feeding like five kids. So whatever’s there, you’re going to eat it, but I.

[00:13:33] Alecia Aguilar: I mean, obviously I was fed by it. Wasn’t learning about what I was eating. It was kinda like make a lot of food because we have a lot of people. , and then when I joined, basically my first position was. Washing aircraft and like being like a cleanup crews. So I hung out with a lot of guys my age and our routine was like bowling and like Chipotle and burritos and going out to eat.[00:14:00]

[00:14:00] Alecia Aguilar: And so again, I still wasn’t learning about food. I was just going with the flow and then. , it was around that time where, I was learning or trying to learn about fitness or nutrition. And then I just knew my body. Like every time, every day I would wake up, I’m like, I’m just really tired.

[00:14:19] Alecia Aguilar: And, and I’m like, what is going on? And then, so I’m like, oh, I heard that if you drink, I don’t know, take a certain vitamin or drink a certain water or eat a certain fruit. Like it has nutritional benefits. And then I’m like, okay. And then I would do one of the same. I don’t like, I would pretty much feel the same.

[00:14:40] Alecia Aguilar: And then the more I looked into it, as far as. YouTube. And like people saying feedback, like you have to put everything together to make it make sense. As far as nutrition, there was just like one day it clicked. And I was just like, oh, I’m going to have to put all of this together in order for all this like [00:15:00] nutrition stuff to work and make me feel.

[00:15:02] Alecia Aguilar: But it was crazy like, As far as like not knowing anything, nutrition barely worked out prior to the Navy. And then I started that fitness journey. I was like doing my vitamins, making sure I add protein and all this. And there was a day I was running and I literally felt like. I was floating.

[00:15:23] Alecia Aguilar: Like my body was like in high mode, like I was sprinting. I’m like, normally if I’m sprinting, like I would be tired by now, but I just felt so fueled. And then , I actually became a fitness leader in my command, so I would try to tell people I’m like, food is fuel. Like your diet is what you eat.

[00:15:42] Alecia Aguilar: Like you don’t have to like. I was like, the main thing was knowing what is in the food that you eat. Cause I obviously had no idea about what I was eating and I that’s still something I still have to research like every day in America.[00:16:00] , but yeah, nutrition, it helped along the way, but it took a long time to click as far as other, stress relieves.

[00:16:10] Alecia Aguilar: My twin did live there. So yeah, I would reach out to family a lot or try to spend time with her. I think being in when you’re stressed out, you think, okay. If I was home, I wouldn’t be stressed out or anything.

[00:16:27] Scott DeLuzio: Especially when you had someone who you grew up with, you’re so close to that you probably weren’t even through high school, middle school, elementary school, you were, you’re able to probably talk with her about some of the things that, that might’ve been bothering you and help each other out that way.

[00:16:44] Scott DeLuzio: But then when you get separated, That way, the way the military tends to do with families, you lose that built in support network. Right. And that, that kinda makes it a little harder to get things off your chest and just get it out there. Right?

[00:16:59] Alecia Aguilar: [00:17:00] Yeah. Well, and that’s funny that you mentioned that because we actually didn’t learn to guess a properly communicate until we were older.

[00:17:09] Alecia Aguilar: We were living together in San Diego, but I’m like if something was bothering him, It was kind of like being in the room with somebody helped. , I think that’s because we grew up with so many people, so it’s like, if I’m frustrated about something like maybe spending time with somebody will call me down and take my minds off saying, but yeah, now we can definitely say to each other.

[00:17:35] Alecia Aguilar: This really bothered me or this happened today. And, I feel sad or happy about all these things. So that definitely helps a lot in with something I have learned along the way.

[00:17:47] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Communication is huge with any kind of relationship, whether it’s a sibling or a spouse or just people that you work with or whoever, You can solve a whole lot of problems just by talking about things and [00:18:00] at least get on the same page with certain things so that there’s not misunderstandings in terms of where people are coming from or what they’re dealing with in the day to day.

[00:18:09] Scott DeLuzio: If you. If you came home and you just kinda blew up at your sister or whatever, and you started just ripping her head off because you had a bad day at work. , but you didn’t communicate that to her, then she’d be like, well, what the hell, like, where is this coming from? Right.

[00:18:25] Scott DeLuzio: And, but if you open up and you talk about that, say, Hey, kinda had a rough day mind if I tell you about it for five minutes or whatever. , at least she’ll know where you’re coming from. When. Start acting a little strange. Right? So, you know, communication is a, it’s a big thing.

[00:18:40] Scott DeLuzio: It really is. And I think that’s a good first step for people who are out there, who are dealing with stress in their lives or anxiety talk about it with someone, find somebody that you can trust that you can talk to. And, yeah. All the fitness and the eating right. And exercise, all that stuff.

[00:18:58] Scott DeLuzio: Really important too, but, [00:19:00] just learning how to release some of that stuff in a healthy way is probably important too. So how has your stress and anxiety levels now, like after you’ve discovered how to manage all this stuff.

[00:19:17] Alecia Aguilar: Well, it’s definitely gone down a lot after I’m out of the military.

[00:19:22] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, well, yeah, for sure. I can imagine that the lack of both military responsibilities definitely help out.

[00:19:28] Alecia Aguilar: But even with that I guess, like you said, like being able to like, like confrontation was never a thing with my family growing up. , and like my early career was kind of like. Do what you’re told and, you can get this done.

[00:19:44] Alecia Aguilar: So it was like a busy bee all the time. But, after I checked into my second command, it was a lot busier than my first command, but I worked with people and I learned for myself, if there was something [00:20:00] wrong, speak about. Now, instead of later, like if something wasn’t communicated, right.

[00:20:08] Alecia Aguilar: Like I learned to take a step back and be like, okay, this is our issue, but, this person doesn’t know how to do it, or, we need to train somebody. , and those kinds of things are so much more helpful, especially while you’re in the military. Because for example, say my supervisor was mad, like why isn’t all this stuff done?

[00:20:31] Alecia Aguilar: Why are we behind and all these things. But it’s like when you point out things that are an issue prior to them, Exploding or people exploding because things aren’t done then, it really helps a lot. And there’s always days like with work where I worked or with family where you like get a little frustrated and you like, snap at somebody, but, It’s like a [00:21:00] really big thing that I learned is having that awareness of how I reacted, like how it probably made them feel like why was I upset about that?

[00:21:08] Alecia Aguilar: And then just like calming down and stepping back and like just clearing the air as far as I’m sorry. I reacted that way. I was actually upset about this. And then, like you said, like the communication people are like, okay, That makes a lot more sense and I feel better now. So like as far as, just being able to tell people how I feel and just clear the air, like if I’m having a day where I don’t feel very happy or like in a really positive mood.

[00:21:43] Alecia Aguilar: Cause. Pretty positive. Like I’m going to be at front, I’m going to say like I’m having an off day or I’m really stressed about school. , and that helps a lot. So people are more. People around you are more understanding rather than, like what sort of [00:22:00] problem or what’s going on there.

[00:22:02] Scott DeLuzio: Right, right. Yeah.

[00:22:03] Scott DeLuzio: I like how you were saying too about, if there’s a problem at work and, there’s something that you see that’s gonna cause you to not be able to hit your goals or whatever, finish everything that you’re supposed to do. If you bring that up beforehand, Then at least whoever’s in charge is going to be like, okay, well we have a reason.

[00:22:23] Scott DeLuzio: Or maybe they have a way to work around that problem or fix that problem. So it’s no longer a problem in that. It helps you get that thing done. But, at least if there’s no way to work around it, At least they know. And so then you’re not dealing with the stress of being yelled at and, whatever, because they’re like, okay, well you brought this up to me.

[00:22:42] Scott DeLuzio: There’s nothing we can do about it. It’s just the situation. , that we’re dealing with here and we have to make, do the best we can. , but it, but at least you’re not adding on top of that stress. So not only is there the stress of, okay, I’m not going to make this [00:23:00] deadline, but then also. The stress of being yelled at for not being able to make the devil just adds more crap on top of it.

[00:23:06] Scott DeLuzio: So if you could just communicate that beforehand, it probably will help the situation and make it not quite as stressful. , so I like how you, you brought that up as well. So let’s talk about your brand Awearness Athletics. , why did you decide to create this brand? , and also, I think I should mention for the listeners, the, awareness, word in that is, is spelled with the word way, or as in, the clothing that you wear.

[00:23:32] Scott DeLuzio: So A-W-E-A-R-N-E-S-S but, I guess what prompted you to create the brand and get the, that brand. ,

[00:23:41] Alecia Aguilar: yeah. So thank you for pointing that out about how to spell it. I always tell people that when, I’m telling them about the brand, but, yeah, so basically I would say, Hmm, maybe about like my five-year mark in my command after starting [00:24:00] that finished journey, I was a fitness leader, but I also lost.

[00:24:05] Alecia Aguilar: About 30 pounds in that timeframe, of being at that first command. But I noticed that when people would check in and I would set them up or take them to like a fitness class or help them with their weigh ins and things, they would always say to me Oh this is so easy for you. Like you’ve always been into fitness or, you’re just the fit girl and I’m like, wait, what?

[00:24:29] Alecia Aguilar: That’s not the case. , yeah. And I remember searching online during that time. I’m like, I wish there was like a shirt that just said , like why I work out. It’s not just for my physical it’s not about how I look like, there’s more to it than that. , and I just remember I couldn’t find anything at all.

[00:24:47] Alecia Aguilar: And I’m like, what? This is when, 2000, 18 when like mental health was slowly on the rise as far as , social media. But, yeah, so I couldn’t find anything at all. And I’m like, [00:25:00] this is crazy. So I get to California and I’m still like, occasionally thinking about that shirt. I haven’t had any free time to do anything about it.

[00:25:09] Alecia Aguilar: So one day I decided I’m like, oh, screw it. I’m just gonna create something online and wear it for myself. And that way I, at least I have it. So I created a shirt that says I work out for my mental health and once I received it, I posted it on my social media. And I had eight people comment, like this is so awesome.

[00:25:30] Alecia Aguilar: Man I support this all the way. I can relate to this and I’m like, wow, this is a lot of people. Like I just wanted this for myself because I felt misunderstood. And that just really gave me the idea of okay, this could actually become something. , during that time I was actually like starting like a bodybuilding competition.

[00:25:51] Alecia Aguilar: So I was around. A lot of bodybuilders, a lot of people who consistently work out and, or just like really into fitness, but , as [00:26:00] far as California, you see these women where, you know, the cute trending leggings and the bras, and everything’s cute. And. Yeah, they look awesome. But I’m like, but what if I could create something that just brings a little bit more than just how you look like, how come you know, I appreciated my t-shirt, but I’m like, why do I have to wear this boy?

[00:26:22] Alecia Aguilar: T-shirt , to represent that I work out for my mental health. And so that just gave me an idea to like, okay, I’m going to start my own collection. , I’m going to put this on paper because first of all I can, I support mental health awareness. Obviously people are supportive of, integrating physical health with mental health and.

[00:26:48] Alecia Aguilar: Like overall, there’s no, nothing bad can come out of it. You know? And so I started on the collection, I would say. , [00:27:00] June, 2021. And we are hopefully launching our first collection of high adjusts, high support, adjustable sports bra, and matching leggings towards the end of the year. So like maybe November, I’ve really been putting in a lot of thought of how supportive the sports bra is.

[00:27:20] Alecia Aguilar: Mainly because. There’s a lot of mothers out there that want to get into fitness, but don’t have the proper support as far as like fitness where yes, like the fitness wear industry, as far as like fashion. It’s so much money. This is a huge industry, but I’m like, okay. But, I have my own thing.

[00:27:41] Alecia Aguilar: I have what’s trending, put it all together and support, anybody who wants to gear or who wants to support mental health.

[00:27:51] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. It seems like. The t-shirt was that, spark, it was a good start. Right. , but like you said it’s a [00:28:00] t-shirt and it’s not the most stylish thing that’s out there may not be for everyone.

[00:28:06] Scott DeLuzio: It’s good for what it is. It gets the message across. But, but you also have people who want to dress a little more stylish and they want to have different options out there. So, It makes sense that the transition is now to fitness clothing, the sports bras and the, all that kind of stuff that goes along with it.

[00:28:24] Scott DeLuzio: It just makes sense because the physical fitness was a huge part of your journey and likely is for many other people. I can’t imagine that you’re the only one. , who started running in and saw the improvement in your mental health as well as your physical health. , it just makes sense.

[00:28:41] Scott DeLuzio: And, I applaud you for, what you’re doing to, not only, for your own personal, health, your physical and mental health, but also for raising awareness of, the mental health issues that people may have. And. One of the reasons that I wanted to have you on this show was because the people who listen to the show [00:29:00] oftentimes are struggling in silence.

[00:29:03] Scott DeLuzio: They have their own issues that they’re dealing with. That could be mental health. It could be physical health, it could be dealing with any number of different things, and they just don’t know how to deal with it. And sometimes hearing stories like yours, where someone. Says, you know what I need to take control of this and I need to do something and you did something and all of a sudden, boom, you see that it’s working.

[00:29:27] Scott DeLuzio: It know maybe it wasn’t a hundred percent dialed in to exactly, Mental and physical health right off the bat, but you continue to work at it. And I think it’s that resilience that not giving up attitude that is important, that people understand that a lot of this stuff is going to take some work.

[00:29:47] Scott DeLuzio: It’s going to take some time. And if you put the effort in, you’ll see the results eventually. But if you just. , try something once and say, oh, well this is too hard. It was too hard for [00:30:00] me to run that mile. , I’m like, I’m not going to do it again. Well then you’re probably not going to see the results, but if you keep at it and you stick with it, you’ll start to see those results in your stress and your anxiety and other issues that you might be facing.

[00:30:13] Alecia Aguilar: We’ll start to get. Yeah. And, yeah. , thank you for that. I’m glad you said, as far as, so the name for awareness actually, so I wouldn’t have been able to. Progressed. As far as anxiety and stress, if I didn’t have that, self-awareness of like how I was reacting or how I was taking control of my actions as far as physical.

[00:30:40] Alecia Aguilar: Mental work because you’re right. It does take work. And, so during my deployment in 2018, I was on the ship, one of the carriers. So there was like 5,000 people, but I mean, you’re at a lot of people and you spend a lot of close time with people and I was. Pretty active on, [00:31:00] getting started to help out with mental health and just trying to get more involved.

[00:31:05] Alecia Aguilar: So we would do, like mental health lectures of like tips of what you don’t know. How can you help somebody or how can you help yourself? And that it takes a lot of work as much as we want to help everybody. We know that struggling. , as far as like mentally like I want to be that best friend, that’s gonna listen to you no matter what, but also like during that time, and during the past two years, I realized like, So the main way, like I notice how I can help people is be the example.

[00:31:36] Alecia Aguilar: And that’s that was also the fuel like of not giving up because I would go to work and I would tell people like, oh, I just ran four miles. And it was funny. There was a story where I was like, I don’t think I ran four miles. Yeah. Oh, it was either in a while, but they were running and we were almost there and I was by myself and I think my shoe got on tired or whatever.

[00:31:59] Alecia Aguilar: And [00:32:00] then, I just, all this stuff was happening and then I tripped and I fell and I was just like, ah, and then I just looked up and I was like, okay, I’m going to go. I’m going to do this, I’m going to finish this. And I would just like being able to go to work and tell people, Like how good you feel about yourself when you’re able to accomplish like a goal for yourself?

[00:32:20] Alecia Aguilar: It’s not just what you do for your job or what you do for somebody else. It’s, having those small goals that you can accomplish. And it just, it makes you feel better. I just feel so grateful that I can be that spark in somebody else’s eyes.

[00:32:39] Alecia Aguilar: I can, be that click for them to oh, I have to do this. I have to put in the work. Nobody else can do this for me. And, so yeah, that, that was part of the reason of why we chose awareness athletics, and also like mental health awareness. And then. Like the goal is that when people wear [00:33:00] our merchandise, they’re thinking about, or they’re like, somebody comes up to you like, oh, what is awareness athletics?

[00:33:08] Alecia Aguilar: It’s a brand about mental health awareness and being able to start that conversation about mental health and break that stigma.

[00:33:17] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And you know what you’re talking about as far as being that example for other people that, that they look up to you, they are watching what you’re doing and seeing how you’re progressing and not wanting to be that person who lets them down by.

[00:33:37] Scott DeLuzio: Just like going off on your own, exercise and physical fitness, if you start doing that and they’ll say, okay, maybe it’s not all that important. And maybe she isn’t as much of an expert as we might’ve thought she was. Right. And you don’t want to lose that. , and I think that’s the lead by example, a philosophy where it’s like, okay, I’m doing this for my physical, my mental health.

[00:33:59] Scott DeLuzio: This is [00:34:00] my example that I’m showing to all of you, whoever these people happen to be, and they’re made, it may have even been people who you didn’t even know who saw you out there every day running, or, at the gym exercising, whatever it was that you’re doing, fitness class, whatever they may have seen you there.

[00:34:15] Scott DeLuzio: And it was like, you know what? This person. Is dedicated. And you may not have known that person, but they may have known you just by observing, not in a creepy way, just happen to, see you there. Right. But that is a way that you impacted somebody’s life and helped push them to become better versions of themselves as well.

[00:34:37] Scott DeLuzio: And, sometimes your story is a spark that, that helps start someone else with their story and their journey. Really, I do appreciate that. , not only that you came on the show, but that you’re doing all that you’re doing to help, raise awareness. For mental health for, all the, the things that you’re working on.

[00:34:55] Scott DeLuzio: I really do appreciate all that you do. , where can people go to find out [00:35:00] more about, about you, your journey and awareness athletics?

[00:35:04] Alecia Aguilar: so we have our website, which is awareness, athletics.com. And when you go there, you can subscribe to our emails. So those emails are going to have mental health tips.

[00:35:16] Alecia Aguilar: They’re going to have the launch date updates, and they’re also going to have, any updates as far as sales or information of what we’re working on or events in the community. We have our Instagram or necessity. We post reels, merchandise photos, and just, as far as like connecting with the community, we really use Instagram a lot, also Facebook and tick-tock, we’re just recently getting on tick-tock it’s so hard to like, do those videos and stuff.

[00:35:50] Alecia Aguilar: Thankfully yesterday, I just hired a marketing team. So yeah, so there’s a lot of like rails as far as , short stories of expressing like how, [00:36:00] what you’re doing, physically can help you mentally. And, Just along those lines.

[00:36:05] Scott DeLuzio: Well, that’s awesome. , I’m going to have links to all of this in the show notes for anyone who wants to get in touch or to find out more about the brand, check it out, go to the website, go to their social media follow like shared.

[00:36:18] Scott DeLuzio: Things that you do on the social media, different platforms and, and check them out and definitely support awareness athletics. I think it’s a great brand great message. And go check it out. So thank you again for coming on and joining us today and sharing your story. I think it was definitely, a great story.

[00:36:37] Scott DeLuzio: Showing people the way that you went from the stress and anxiety in your life and how you found a healthy way to manage that. , I really do appreciate you coming on and sharing that.

[00:36:47] Alecia Aguilar: Thank you so much. I appreciate your time. And I’m really happy and blessed that I was able to show up today.

[00:36:54] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks again.

[00:36:55] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to check out more [00:37:00] episodes or learn more about the show, you can visit our website, DriveOnPodcast.com. We’re also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube at DriveOnPodcast.

Leave a Comment