Even the most cynical Valentine’s Day hater has to appreciate a good love story.  There’s something sweet and magical about two people who have found each other and are clearly meant to be together.  One such couple is Alexis and Joey Salser, who met on a blind date in 2007, went to the prom together a few months later, and after many years of dating, got married in June 2019.  This likable and easygoing couple not only complement each other perfectly, but they’re also a perfect fit for RTC, a place that has helped both of them become “a better us.”

Joey has been a member of RTC since the doors opened in August 2019, and Lexie followed after Joey told her RTC would be a great place for her to start working out again after knee surgery.  Both agree that the family atmosphere is what they love most about their gym.  “My favorite part of RTC is the people,” says Joey.  “”Since my first time walking in, everybody has always been so nice and welcoming.”  Lexie adds, “I love the community and how we’re a big family.”

Both also agree that the RTC coaching staff has not only helped them meet their physical fitness goals, but has also changed their mindset about exercise and fitness.   Lexie says, RTC has helped me to be able to move better.  When I came here,  I couldn’t walk up stairs without pain. Now I can walk comfortably and even jump! When they say CrossFit prepares you for life, it’s not a joke, but a fact.”  Joey adds, “My fitness goals have changed over time.  I’ve come to the realization that I’m not Mat Fraser. I used to feel like less of an athlete if I didn’t RX or beat a certain person in a workout. But after coming to RTC, that perspective has changed. Like Coach George says, ‘The workout is whatever you want it to be.’  That really resonated with me. I started feeling ok subbing out movements and changing rep schemes.  The coaches here are hands down the best coaches I’ve ever had.” 

Lexie and Joey don’t just love working out at RTC; they love working out together at RTC. What Joey calls “our thing” has gotten this pair through some tough times over the years, from losing loved ones to the stresses of daily life.  “There have been many times where we argue and bicker on the drive to the gym,” he says, “but then after class, it somehow always puts things into perspective.”  Joey also notes that Lexie often surprises him and brings out his competitive spirit, beating him on the rower or assault bike, or finishing an open workout despite a ripped hand.  He remembers a time she “no repped” him, and he “completely lost it and quit the workout.”  “I know I completed that rep,” he says, “but I let my ego get the best of me, and it’s a lesson that’s stuck with me to this day about respecting your judge’s decision, whether you agree with it or not.”  As for Lexie, she says she “loves working out with Joey.”  “He always helps me out when I don’t understand something (because I’m talking or not paying attention), or tries to help correct my form,” she says.  “I also enjoy watching him work out; he can be very distracting [insert a little wink here].  We have the same goals of trying to be a better, healthier us.”

Lexie and Joey met on a blind date set up by friends, where they went to Laser Quest and a movie.  Joey remembers Lexie “freaking out” during the scary parts of the movie, which he found to be hilarious, while Lexie remembers Joey being a “total hunk” as he arrived on his motorcycle, asking her if he could store his helmet in the trunk of her blue Dodge Neon.  She says it was definitely “love at first sight” for her, but admits that Joey was the first to say “I love you.” And this young couple finds much to love about each other.  “Putting what I love most about Lexie into words is tough, because there’s so many things I love about her,” says Joey.  “If I had to pick one, I would say how supportive she is. I can honestly say I would not be where I am in life if it wasn’t for her. Years ago, when I had doubts about pursuing a career in law enforcement, she supported me. When I failed 3 fitness tests for my agency’s SWAT team tryouts, she supported me unwaveringly, and I passed it on my 4th attempt. And just on day to day things that we all go through in life, she’s my rock, and I would say that’s what I love about her the most.”   Lexie simply says, Joey is everything that I ever desired and wanted. I love everything about him! Some of his greatest qualities include that he’s compassionate, a great leader (can see the big picture), and he always knows how to put a smile on my face and put me at ease.”

Lexie earned her BSN from Kent State University, and works as a staff nurse, treating patients with epilepsy, on the EMU floor at Akron General Cleveland Clinic.  Joey works as a night shift Deputy at the Summit County Sheriff’s office.  He is also an operator on his agency’s SWAT and Sniper Teams. Both Lexie and Joey love dogs, but because of their work schedules, they don’t currently have a pet.  Joey says, though, that they are “definitely open to petsitting for Millie, the official RTC mascot, whenever needed.”

The Salsers will celebrate Valentine’s Day in a quiet way with dinner and a movie, maybe gifting each other just a card and some candy.  There’s no need for anything more on this traditional “day of love,” because they clearly demonstrate their love for each other every day, working together to be the best and healthiest version of themselves.  Congratulations to Lexie and Joey on being chosen as RTC’s members of the month! 

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