The Insider: Alero Akuya
We are in the season of just doing it. Now’s the time to get moving, get happy, and take care of yourself. But you don’t have to tell that to Alero Akuya. As the brand marketing director for Nike Women, chick hustles all year around (and travels whenever she can—see: holdpls.com). Below, all the fitness (and pepperoni pizza) she gets into.
Q: Walk (or, run!) me through the first few hours of your day.
A: All days begin with a lack of sleep—tragic, I know—as I am constantly making myself get up early to tackle a workout or work. Regardless, my day usually commences with me reading and watching a mix of the daily news from Need 2 Know and the text messages, emails, Insta posts, and snaps I missed the night before. Once I scrounge up enough energy to leave my bed, I get dressed in my workout clothes, always laid out the night before. Pro tip: Laid-out workout clothes are a prerequisite to a successful morning. Otherwise, you are asking to sleep in. Then I head to a gym to break a sweat—in my rotation is Shadow Box, and I play tennis inside of Grand Central.
After that it’s into the office—my days typically begin with a variety of team meetings where we exchange pleasantries, objectives, and deliverables for the day. No day is EVER the same.
Q: Do you have a favorite ritual?
A: It always involves willingly waking up early in the morning on a weekend and putting on a weekend buzz playlist on my Sonos so that it reverberates throughout my house. Then I make Café Bustelo coffee in my Bialetti (with vanilla creamer, of course), water my dying plants, and grab my favorite tote bag before heading to the farmers’ market in my neighborhood. Buying flowers, fruits, vegetables, and fresh bread is a solid start to a weekend.
Q: What’s your favorite pair of sneakers? I know, I know—it’s probably like picking a favorite child.
A: Sheesh…um, let’s just go with my current favorites because it’s a revolving door. I currently love my black-and-white, polka-dot Nike Roshe LD-1000 and my NikeLab Classix x Undefeated Cortez—with “LA” inscribed on the back of the heels.
Q: Okay, say running’s not someone’s thing. What kind of exercise is so fun it doesn’t feel like a workout?
A: Whether you dance like no one’s watching or like someone is, that never feels like a workout—at least until your body strikes back a day later with soreness. I also happen to love Capoeira, which is a form of Brazilian martial arts done to music. My brain becomes preoccupied with nailing the right form and musical timing, and I end up getting a killer workout without focusing on the pain. It’s as close to instant abs as you’re gonna get.
Q: What destinations are on your 2016 list?
A: Love! If that’s too sappy, I’ll take Vietnam and Japan for 100. But seriously, it’s important to be vulnerable and to share our hopes and dreams with one another. With that said, I can confidently say that I am definitely at that point in life where I am ready to meet the love of my life and settle down with an amazing man. I put it out there—“ask and you shall receive,” right? Isn’t that how it works? [Ed note: Dudes of the world, you should be so lucky].