Welcome to Alex's Home!
The Wonders of Reading Will Change Your World 
About Alex
     Alexandra Powe Allred was born in Frankfurt, Germany to Karen and Marc Powe. Because her father was a U.S. Diplomat and military intelligence, Alex had the opportunity to live and travel around the world. Her experiences molded and shaped her to be the adventurous, outgoing person she is today. School (and reading) was never a strong suit ... finding adventure was. It was only while attending Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, that her dyslexia was (at last!) diagnosed. Today, Alex visits schools and talked to student about "that feeling when you're pretty sure you're stupid," and the reality that you are not!
     How did she overcome the "I'm dumb" stigma? Books!
After graduating, newly married and soon to be a mother, Alex began to write.
     Many of her characters come from real life people and experiences in Tunisia, Kenya, Russia, Central Asia and Europe. "I had no choice in my family. I HAD to be adventurous!"
     And adventure is never too far from reach ...
     But when Alex learned that women were not allowed in bobsled, she began a letter writing campaign. As a former competitive fighter in martial arts, she could not step away from that challenge. When the call came, she accepted the opportunity to train and try out for the Women's U.S. Bobsled team. Despite having no experience in the sport, Alex made the team. She later won the U.S. Nationals in September 1994, making sports history as she was named to the first women’s bobsled team.  When the United States Olympic Committee named her Athlete of the Year for her sport, it was the beginning of a lucrative sports career as a bobsledder, martial artists, professional football player, and adventure writer. ("Ever been chased by a beefalo? They're a heckuva lot faster than you'd think they'd be!" [beefalo: buffalo/cow]) But what made international news was Alex was pregnant when she made the US women's bobsled team!
      When Alex became pregnant with her second child, she took part in a study with the renowned Dr. James Clapp, III, who was interest in how extreme exercise affects the placenta.  Dr. Clapp was particularly interested in Alexandra because very little data had been collected on sport training, plyometrics, and heavy weight lifting.  At five months pregnant, Alex was squatting 375 lbs. and clocked at 20 MPH while running.  Sports Illustrated also took interest, asking her to try out for a women’s professional football team and write about her experiences in the award-winning book, Atta Girl! A Celebration of Women in Sport (Wish Publishing).  Today, both the United States and International Olympic Committee use Alex’s training data as a safety guide for pregnant athletes and she serves as a fitness/nutrition expert for www.pregnancy.org
           Still, more adventures were to come ...
  1. Guinea Pig in Training
    Guinea Pig in Training
    To ensure that her baby was never in harm's way, Alex participated in a study for elite athletes. Hooked up to EKG leads, heart monitors for both momma and baby, oxygen and, yes, even a rectal thermometer, it was then business as usual.
  2. Visiting Schools
    Visiting Schools
    Some lucky kid always gets to be the "bobsledder" in the story of overcoming obstacles (mountains of learning disabilities) and win the race!
  3. Going Pro
    Going Pro
    The agreement with Sports Illustrated was that Alex had to make the team on her own merit -- and she did! She continues to tell people how empowering her very brief career as a professional football player but not because of the sport. "The women around me are some of the most amazing women you could ever hope to meet."

SELF-ESTEEM VS EMPOWERMENT: What's the Difference?

      Alex's professional athletic and writing careers have been based on empowerment. Alex wrote the first ever US bylaws for the women's bobsled program and fought to have women included in the Olympic Games; she changed protocol for elite coaches (as well as the USOC and IOC) in regards to physical training while pregnant; she served as an Air Ambassador and lobbied on Capitol Hill and was nominated as a White House Champion of Change for Public Health. She created an asthma commercial (aired before the US Senate) with the League of Women Voters and when she saw a need for those within the special needs populations, she returned to school so she could be an advocate for their cause.
      This 4th degree black belt retired from competitive fighting long ago but continues to offer free self-defense classes because "the women who most need this class won't pay for it. I give free classes so, I hope, they don't 'pay' for it later."
      Today, as she fights for her parents against Alzheimer's and dementia, Operation Caregivers: #LifewithDementia is yet another battle to restore dignity for those who suffer from the disease and empowerment for their caregivers.

      As she is fond of saying, it doesn't matter how big or small you are, you have a voice! Empowerment is not just a state of mind but a real force brought about by action -- your action. Whatever that is - find your voice and act!

      "The gloves are hangin' but I'm a long way from hanging it up!"