Welcome to our “Fit for Flight” Spotlights.Fit for Flight Spotlight is a monthly feature that highlights friends, coworkers, social media influencers and bloggers who manage to maintain their fitness, health & wellness while living the traveling lifestyle. In these spotlights we share their advice for balancing it all from tips, tricks and products to a look at how they manage their fitness, health and wellness routines as well as how they:
“Go Live. Stay Fit” – our motto behind Fit for Flight.
For this Fit for Flight Spotlight feature, we’re excited to get to know two empowering individuals whose positivity and enthusiasm about life is highly optimistic – so much so, that it is contagious to others who are around them! Not only are both of our features beautiful souls inside and out, but they are also two flight attendants who represent the black community. (( Find Alexis & and Victor on IG @alexistylar_14 & @vic_422 ))
While normally our features focus solely around the topics of fitness and travel, we felt with this interview it was important to address the underlying racial injustices that have driven world wide Protests. We asked our fellow coworkers and good friends Alexis Patterson and Victor Raphael to interview with us to shed a light on the Black Lives Matter movement and help encourage others who may need enlightenment. We understand that racism and discrimination can be sensitive subjects to discuss. As hard and sensitive topics they may be, they are serious issues we should talk about and not avoid. We want to help support our friends in having those conversations and share ways we can all learn to help further educate and enlighten ourselves.
Of course, we still ask the fun fitness and travel questions, because we love to get to know our spotlights and share their own tips and tricks for fitness and health on the go! You’ll still get that with this month’s feature, but we also hope you take away something with you from this interview whether that’s having a better understanding of what BLM means, taking action to help support the movement by donating or supporting programs that support racial justice and equality, or simply listening, learning and having the difficult conversations about racial justice, police violence, and anti-blackness (the term used to specifically focus on the racial prejudice directed towards black people), with your family or friends. (DoSomething.Org provides a well put together guide to start anti-racist conversations and explains more in depth what anti-blackness means).
Without further ado, let’s chat with Alexis and Victor.
Fit for Flight (FFF): Can you share with us how you became a flight attendant, and initially what made you want to start flying the sky?
Alexis Patterson (AP): So I was working as an Airport customer service agent for a little over a year, and I was itching for an opportunity to advance my career. I love aviation and my supervisor thought it would be awesome to take on a new role as a flight attendant. The opportunities the role possessed seemed endless, so I went for it!
FFF: It is such an incredible career! What is your favorite part about being a flight attendant?
AP: The opportunity to explore daily! Everyday you fly, you are given the opportunity to explore new cultures, food and make new friends.
FFF: Love that answer! What’s been the hardest part about being a flight attendant?
AP: The uncertainty! Starting out, you have no clue what trips you are going on or even what time. You have to adjust to the new lifestyle, which may be difficult at first.
FFF: Oh for sure! It definitely is a lifestyle change! Speaking of changes and switching gears here, we know the past couple of months have been tough with all that is going on with the call for change to police reform and the fight to defeat discrimination and racism against the black race with the BLM (black lives matter movement). How have you been handling It? Have you ever personally experienced discrimination in the aviation industry?
AP: I have handled it by believing in the power of Love – Removing myself from negativity and refusing to allow it to disturb my peace. Yes, I have [Experienced discrimination]. Certain routes you experience discrimination more than other routes. I remember a customer thought it would be funny to have me to continue to serve him by constantly asking for non-immediate service. He also asked me to fetch his bag as if I was his servant. It was not only embarrassing but hurtful. It was to the point where another customer demanded him to stop and apologize. The customer was also spoken to by the pilot who would not tolerate such behavior.
FFF: That’s awful. We’re sorry to hear that and applaud the customer and pilot who stepped in to help you!What is something you want people to know/learn about #BLM (black lives matter)?
AP: What I want people to know is that Black Lives Matter does NOT mean other lives don’t. It is a political and social movement created to emphasize basic human rights and racial equality for black people. The movement goes against various forms of racism.
FFF: We agree with that statement and we stand with you. How do you think somebody can further educate themselves or make a difference to help the black community ?
AP: People can make a difference by signing petitions to end racial injustice; Reading and watching educational documentaries; Apply the knowledge learned by speaking out against racism and the injustice previously displayed here in America.
FFF: Great advice, and we will have links posted below where people can find ways they can offer support. What would you say is one of your proudest moments about being a flight attendant?
AP: My proudest moment is when I was given the unfortunate opportunity to help save a woman’s life. Flight attendants spend weeks training to help save others and prepare for unfortunate events. The moment I was able to help someone gave me a sense of purpose.
FFF: Wow! We can only imagine that must’ve been such a scary moment, but a great example how flight attendants aren’t just there to hand out snacks an drinks! We’re glad you were there! You are a hero! What is one of your favorite motivational quotes?
AP: My favorite quote is a bible verse that reads “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens Me” Philippians 4:13
FFF: That is a good quote, and one we are sure many others can find uplifting as well. Of course we love to throw fun questions in our interviews, so mixing things up again, where has been one of your favorite cities domestically or internationally to travel?
AP: One of my favorite cities would have to be Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It’s such a beautiful city, and I go occasionally just to clear my mind. The beaches are beautiful, and I always feel like I’m on a tropical island every time I visit.
FFF: Can’t complain about that! What kind of workout routine or exercise do you like to do to keep up with your fitness and health?
AP: My favorite workout is CrossFit! And my favorite muscle group is the glutes, it’s fun building that peach lol
FFF: Yes! Glutes are one of our favs to workout! We have a motto “Go Live & Stay Fit” to help others go enjoy and live the life they love without sacrificing their health, fitness, and well-being! How do YOU go live and stay fit?!
AP: I go live and stay fit by being motivated by my friends, turning on my favorite jams, and believing in myself. Your circle of friends are extremely important and give you that boost to get up and get FIT!
Fit for Flight (FFF): Were you always interested in becoming a flight attendant or did you kind of fall into the career like we did? What did you do for your career before you became a flight attendant?
Victor Raphael (VR): Like you ladies, I fell into the career and am so grateful I did. My background is in Sociology, and I worked at many of the Orlando theme parks as the Guest Services supervisor prior to getting in my career at a HOA management company. It was then that my friend – who was graduating from United Airlines – invited me to his graduation, and I quickly few to Houston simply to support him. While at his graduation, I quickly fell in love with the passion for travel and customer service I witnessed in his class ceremony video. I knew I had found the career that encompasses all that I wanted in my personal life, so I went home there after to research the most fitting airline for me. I then put forth the action to become a flight attendant. A year later I was graduating, and my best friend was their to support me as well.
FFF: That’s a cool story! It’s great when you find something that resonates with you and just feels right! What would you say has been the most rewarding part of having the career as a flight attendant?
VR: The most rewarding part for me in my career is exercising my communication and customer service skills. I love giving people that undivided much needed attention. I respect that people have a lot of emotions throughout each day – both crew members and customers – so if I can help in swaying their energy positively or by simply being a friend that listens, I feel that I am doing my part and serving a purpose in life.
FFF: We love that! A little positivity can make someone’s day! You’re into fitness, which can be tough when traveling. What are some of your best tips for exercise on the go?
VR: My idea is to just go out and do it! I feel if you just take the first step and put forth the action then you’re already on your way to a success story. As a Marathoner, I have always had a drive for fitness and motivation for taking control of my life. I thrive on taking action and being responsible, so I make a point to set daily goals and missions for myself that make me feel liberated when they are successfully accomplished.
FFF: Yes! The hardest part is always just getting the motivation to go do it, isnt it? But feels good when you do!How do you manage to keep a healthy diet when traveling? Any tips you can share with us that have really helped you stay fit?
VR: My diet and fitness have become a standard daily routine for me. I love taking care of myself. I strongly promote self love and that always goes hand and hand with giving my body (the temple I was blessed with) adequate attention. I make it a mission to meal prep before my trips and add a little fitness to everyday even if it’s for 30 mins. There are 24 hours in each day and using them wisely while adulting and being responsible isn’t always easy, but it is a goal, and I love accomplishing my goals. Those mini daily goals add to helping me keep a calm and overall daily mental peace.
FFF: Ooo! Treating your body as a temple is an amazing perspective! We agree in taking care of our bodies since our body does so much for us! We know diet and exercise can be tough to manage on-the-go, but switching gears here the past couple of months have been taxing to see the news involving incidents of police brutality toward individuals of the black race, generating a global BLM Movement. How have you been handling It? Have you ever personally experienced discrimination in the aviation industry?
VR: While BLM is in fact a very sensitive and serious topic, I find it to be a powerful one for us all as a human race. Solidarity and oneness is important and this matter, while it is sad at many times, I find it brings awareness and unity in a great amount of humans. I have experienced racism and/or hate in my life as I’m sure many people have in some form being it class, gender, skin color etc. I have learned to not dwell in the negative and to trust in God giving him all my prayer and faith. I know to love God is to love all of his creations because they are a product of love, a product of God. I find peace in my company, my fellow crew members, family and friends. They know how to make me feel special. When you surround yourself with love you encompass that energy and are able to release the same. I also mediate and get to know myself so that I am never triggered and am better able to deal with any form of hate or negative energy directed toward me.
FFF: Those are very powerful words! It is important for all of us to come together when our brothers and sisters are hurting. We have to support each other! And yes! To receive more love, you have to give more love. You are such a loving person and always try and maintain a positive attitude – something that is so inspiring! We know everyone has their own opinions and stances. In this case, some individuals may argue that “All lives matter” vs “Black Lives Matter.” What is your take on that, meaning how would you explain to someone that may not understand what BLM means?
VR: Like every forest on earth we know they hold high importance to the planet and all equally matter, yet they are being destroyed with litter, wild fire and more. When we have one that is being destroyed at an astronomical level we have to provide that much needed awareness (the way we did when the Brazilian Amazon rainforest and Australia were experiencing wild fire). We didn’t forget about Yellowstone National Park and how valuable it is to us all, but we simply put a spotlight on the one that is equally important to our shared planet and ecosystem but is under greave danger at an unmatched rate. Like this, we have to competently recognize that while all lives do In fact matter, because we are one human race, the black humans are in greave danger and are in need of our collective compassion and attention. Like I said before, to love God is to love all of his creations, because every one of his creation serves a purpose and is a product of love. A product belonging only to God.
FFF: Agreed! Putting things into that kind of perspective like your analogy about the rain forest and wild fires is easier to help people see and understand better what BLM means – it’s about giving your time and attention to a group of people who are currently in the most need, which in this case are black lives.What would you recommend on how someone can educate themselves or make a difference to help the black community?
VR: I would recommend for people to pray to God and meditate for a calm energy so you can reason and develop a desire to want to research ways you can help our human race and our planet as a whole. I believe you have to truly want to in your heart in order to put forth the action that is needed whether it be donating to a cause or protesting or simply sitting and chatting with another human on a park bench to lend an ear and share a little love with someone in need. It has to be organic and not forced. We know the source of love originates with God; therefore, prayer is the first action to take.
FFF: Yes, there are so many little ways people can help even if it is to just listen to someone who needs it like you mentioned, and prayer is so powerful! You went to one of the Protests in New York City. What was that experience like?
VR: I felt my voice was needed to be heard, so I went out to take action responsibly. I am passionate in unity and love, so with much prayer I made my decision to go out and support the cause. I always knew there was love in the heart of humans, and when I was out there protesting with everyone I realized how much beauty is in solidarity and oneness. It was one of my most liberating moments for the year. I know there is a great deal of evil on earth, but there is an even larger amount of good people with pure love and desire for a change and unity. That is what drives me to taking action in humanity.
FFF: Very true! The media tends to focus on so much negativity and hate, that it’s great to see things done in a peaceful and positive way and show the world that love will always win! Side note here and speaking of the world, Scrolling through your Instagram page you are always traveling! What’s been your favorite place you’ve traveled too thus far and why?!
VR: My favorite destination is Greece. I love Santorini and Athens for the history of them both and their beauty that hits so close to home for me. As a Marathoner I am passionate with the Olympics, and I’m fascinated with the history of the intelligent Greeks. Santorini is so marvelous with its cascading landscape today. It intrigues me to know it was a small circle island that turned into the arch shaped island we see today due to a volcanic eruption dated 1646 BC. It reminds me that in any dark moments in life one can still find beauty. Everything happens for a reason and all are overseen by the Universe, The Most High!
FFF: Oh my gosh! We always talk about wanting to go to Greece!! It sounds and looks truly breathtaking! We love it has significant meaning for you! That makes the trip more special! You typically like to travel somewhere around the world for your birthday, but unfortunately this year, travel was basically shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Do you have any travel plans in the future for a belated celebration or for next year?
VR: Yes. I love exotic destinations but I am not foreign to spending time alone at home as I have done so before on other birthdays. I have a passion for adventures and have been traveling even before becoming a flight attendant, so it is always my preferred desire to travel for my birthday, whether it be alone or with friends. I was humble and grateful this year to simply be alive; therefore, celebrating life in my room with me, myself and I (and God of course) was a familiar yet still peacefully loving experience. I knew I was doing my part in helping this planet we all share and our human race to heal so that was my key thought of it all. I know once things get better I can always find somewhere special to visit again. Only this time, I will make it a mission to serve a purpose wherever I go. Whether it be Asia, Africa or South America I want to help the planet in some way like cleaning the sea shore or feeding children in need as well as enjoying there beautiful destinations and cultures.
FFF: Well said! Sometimes it is nice to stay at home and take in all you have to be grateful for especially recognizing you are alive and well, which can be easy to take for granted! We’re def looking forward to where you decide to travel next! Your photos on your Instagram amazing! Lastly, we have a motto “Go Live & Stay Fit” that means you can live the life you love without sacrificing your fitness, health and well-being! So, How do YOU go live and stay fit?!
VR:I love this motto because it encompass all that I love and hold true. My aspiration in life is to be happy and live my true and best authentic life! So yes, “Go Live” is a beautiful action for making sure that I am not only existing, but that I am truly living! Furthermore, I strongly promote and believe in self-love as stated before which goes hand-in-hand with staying fit! I believe that in taking care of the body I was blessed with and appreciating the cards I was dealt in life is showing much needed love to my creator and myself. I make sure to provide great attention and action to being strong, healthy and “stay-ing fit” because it is a big key to having the energy to be fit for flights and go out to fulfill all of my wildest dreams.
FFF: YES to all of that! Thank you Victor and thank you Alexis for allowing us to interview you both and get to know you better. Thank you for letting us touch on the more difficult subjects such as racism and discrimination. We have learned more ourselves in talking with you both, and we hope that our readers can gain a better understanding as well! We want to continue to do our part in supporting our black friends and black comminity as well as all of our friends/individuals of any diversity. It’s important we take care of each other in times of need and know that you can make a difference no matter how small. One small act of love plus another small act of love leads to more and more love, and love conquers all. Even if we may never fully understand what we experience, due to the color of our skin – know that underneath our skin, we are all the same. Together we stand, and we stand with you. Go Live. Stay Fit. Show Love.
To help support BLM we provided a few links to general instagram accounts to help those who would like to begin or further educate themselves as well as the website NY Mag.com where you can find over a hundred links to help donate/support the BLM Movement
June 22, 2021