Alysia Rieg: Dream Chaser

Introducing Alysia Rieg

Dream Chasers

By: Joe Cardoso

At some point in our lives we will get punched in the face when we least expect it and how we react to is what is most important, will you lay down and give up or get up and fight. From all the different things thrown at us from personal demons to news, social media life in today’s world can be tough and scary. The stigmas over mental health and other issues only now are we seeing these stereotypes thawing out with a long way still to go. With that being said, our feature this month is a young lady who was knocked down and got back up off the mat. Instead of keeping her fight to herself, she has shared her story with others and is always looking for ways to help even more. With a sense of adventure that can include jumping out of airplanes. Maybe follow it up with fighting wildfires or giving much deserving military vets a hand. Oh, and she happens to be a published author of two books with a third on the way. Coming to us from the lone star state of Texas introducing Alysia Rieg!


Joe Cardoso: Let’s start with your approach to life; you are so positive and always trying to uplift others. What lead you on this path?
Alysia Rieg: By God’s mercy, He let me hit rock bottom. It was at rock bottom where I had lost everything material and realizing I had no identity, and I did not know who I was that led me on the path of trying to answer these questions. During my search, I learned that one of the keys to a fulfilled life is to be thankful for what I had, no matter the size or the quantity. Happiness is a choice; it cannot be given to us by another; it cannot be something we find; it cannot be something we own, nor can we buy it. Our attitude in every decision will always decide not only the outcome of our situation but our outlook in life. So remembering this and practicing it with every opportunity I was given to practice it, is what created the positivity within me. Being depressed and lost before is why I try to lift others. My desire is to help people realize that nothing is hopeless.
JC: At what point did fitness become a big part of your life?
AR: Fitness had always been a part of my life, but it became a significant part when I was going through my divorce from an almost 19-year marriage. In my book, For Such A Time As This, I write transparently where I was and how I did not know at that moment that my first step onto the treadmill would be the first step into my destiny.
JC: In terms of fitness, when things got tough, what made you keep going?
AR: What I learned during my training in my brokenness, was that my mind is where the real battle was. My mind is the battleground, and it is there, that I have to be strong if I want to overcome every obstacle, no matter what area it hits me in. Now, when I am faced with a goal, I will envision the purpose in my mind, I keep my physical eyes as well as my mind’s eye set on my goal. When I begin to get tired, I see myself in the future, where I want to be, where I want to go, and I use that to fuel my weariness. I use the naysayer’s words to be the gas that fuels my thoughts; these naysayer thoughts that at times include my own words that say to me, “It’s too hard.” “Nobody knows your goal, so if you quit, it doesn’t matter.” “You’re still too far from where you want to be.” “It’s easier just to quit.” etc
JC: You overcame some very tough times and came out the other side a different person, what or who are some of the things that helped carry you?
AR: By God’s grace, He sent many people on my path to lead me, to teach me, to show me, to real-talk me and to help me carry through. I prayed a lot and spent much quiet time with God in the Word. The more I did this, the more I learned of who I was and whose I was. I gained my own identity, and I began to see where I was strong and where I fell short and where I was weak. I also found out that in those areas that I lacked, God would do the part s that I could not do within my own power. He would be my strength where I was weak.
JC: Why is giving back so important to you, and who are some of the organizations you work with?

AR: I have always had a servant’s heart. But it wasn’t until I became an adult and had gone through the valleys having walked my journey scared and in the dark , that I realized my tragedy was not just for me and my benefit, but it was for others to use as a beacon of hope or a flicker of light at the end of  their dark tunnel. I wasn’t going to allow my many tears cried, my broken heart, my sleepless nights, my loss to be in vain. So, as I went through all of it, I sought to learn and I did. I learned of my worth, I discovered I was valuable and I had a purpose. I learned that my life mattered and I was the only me in the world, and my purpose on this earth was not just for me but it was a part of a greater picture.There are so many hurting people in this world. There are so many deceived and lost people, and so many people who don’t know that they too are valuable and worthy or that they even matter. Nor do they understand that their life and journey to has a purpose which is necessary for a greater picture, a greater purpose. I know all too well what it feels like to not be seen or to not be heard and not counted. I know what it feels like to feel and to be all alone, scared, and obscure. I don’t want others to remain in this state that I once was buried deep in. So I give got back up and began to fight by giving of myself, my time, my efforts, and my money to like-minded organizations that were in the same fight I was in. I chose to align myself with organizations whose missions I believed in. Some of the organizations I volunteer with are Team Rubicon, 22 Kill, Mission Volant, Merging Vets and Players, Team Red White & Blue and the Travis Manion Foundation to name a few.

I have recently started my own non-profit organization, The Hour Glass Initiative with my business partner. Our organization is in the fight against suicide, depression, and anxiety. Too many people today are taking their lives and not fulfilling the purpose for which they were created. So I (we) want to fight for those who are unable to fight for themselves and help them grow stronger so that they too can fight for themselves and then do the same for others.

JC: In your career, I’m sure there is NEVER a dull moment! What has been the wildest thing you’ve been a part of and what has been the most rewarding?
AR: Haha, My life definitely is an adventure. I always say, “I should I have my own reality show because my life is fun and funny, filled with emotions, lots of love, it’s filled with all kinds of people from all walks of the earth, it’s filled with so much humor and edge of your seat moments.” I often find myself in situations where I am in awe and wonder that this is the life I get to live. I have so many wild but rewarding moments but I think getting to do interviews whether it be an article, a podcast or another form of media is the wildest and most rewarding for me. The reason being; I get to reach more people with my message. I use to think nobody wanted to hear or cared about what I had to say and they didn’t care what I had been through, but, I was wrong. When I began to share just small snippets of my journey and what I went through and how I got through it, more and more people began to come out of the word work reaching out to me. They’d share their stories and they would thank me for sharing mine. I never set out to inspire people but to be told I have done so in someone’s life or to have them tell me that they kept fighting because of my story or that they made changes to do better or become better and was now living a better life on purpose because they kept going and kept fighting, not give up, is so fulfilling to my heart. When the warrior spirit that lives within me gets to meet that warrior spirit in others is an amazing feeling
JC: With all that being said, how did you get into modeling and being featured in magazines?

AR:  I often ask myself that question. I just turned 46 years old and I am still being asked to represent companies, products or to be featured in magazines. As everyone knows, I am a believer of the Bible and in the book of Joel and in the Psalms, it says, “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…” and “I will prepare a table before your enemies.”Growing up I was called names and picked on because I was always the smallest, I had frizzy hair and buck teeth. When I was 15 years old I was asked to be a part of a big name modeling agency in San Francisco, my parents were going through a divorce and I lived in Dallas and was unable to be in San Francisco on a regular basis. Then when I was 19 years old, I was going to college in Hawaii and was asked to be in a swimsuit magazine, and my mother who I was living with, would not allow me to because I had to focus on college. I was then asked by another agency to go to NYC to find an agent, again my mother said no. I always wondered, ”What if?” Fast forward 19 more years, I went through my divorce, and during my divorce, my ex-husband would tell me how much better and prettier the female who was 10 years younger than me was better than me. All of the negative words people spoke over me began to ingrain in my mind. I didn’t think or believe I was pretty or that there was a possibility that I could be pretty. So I decided, if I couldn’t be pretty on the outside, then I would work very hard to be as beautiful as I could on the inside. Going through my divorce and in my healing, I prayed, “God, if you could, please make me pretty, even for one day.” It’s funny how just wanting to be pretty isn’t a part of vanity but a part of wanting to be liked, accepted or even to be seen as worthy. God heard my prayer and it His voice that would always whisper to me, telling me that I was enough and that I was beautifully and wonderfully made just as I was the moment He created and formed me in my mother’s womb. He then began to send random strangers on my path who would tell me I was beautiful in the moments I felt the ugliest and worthless and not worthy of being loved. All of a sudden, it seemed as if the world was telling me I was enough and that I was pretty. I slowly began to listen to it. One day, I decided that I didn’t need to be a victim anymore and that I needed to do something for myself even if was to just change my scenery. So, from crying on the couch every day to go to the gym I went. There as I walked on the treadmill, crying and wiping my tears in hopes that those who saw me would mistaken my tears for sweat, I set a goal. I chose a goal that I knew nothing about, I didn’t know how to get to it and it was the hardest goal I could set for myself. The goal I set was to compete in a bodybuilding competition and to compete on my 40th birthday, which was four and a half months away. My goal was not to win, just to compete and I did. After that God brought people into my life who saw me worthy enough to be a part of their projects, who asked to take my photos. These photos showed me that I was pretty and only further ingrained in my mind that like God said, I was enough. Not only did the photos show me that I was pretty and slowly helped in the rebuilding of my self-esteem but a couple of them got me my first feature in an internationally published magazine, Fitness Gurls.

The verse in Joel and in Psalms had come to pass. Everyone who told me I was ugly, who told me I wasn’t enough, that my dreams as a child could no longer come to pass, had now become my reality. I didn’t have to say to those who tried to keep me down, “Ha, I told you so.” because God did it for me and He did it on a grander scale than I could. The ugly duckling had transformed into a swan. And because of this, I began empowering other women and girls even though I still get judged but now I get called different names because I am now confident and I do see myself as beautiful both on the inside and the outside but more so because I became because I did believe what God told me I was.

JC: Talk about your passion for honoring vets and current troops.
AR: I come from a long family line of Navy sailors, I was married to a Marine and I birthed a Marine. Patriotism runs through my veins. I stand behind all that our flag stands for since its genesis and I support those who fight for those freedoms that so many in our country take for granted. The same freedoms that don’t exist in many other countries but is coveted by their citizens. I will always support those who will also fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.
Part of my story, my loss, and my hurt sources from PTSD that the veterans in my life suffer from and live with on a daily basis. I don’t want my loss or the loss that my children endured to be fruitless nor in vain, so I fight back and fight for those veterans, their loved ones and their families who lost their loved one(s) in one way or another. I might not be able to fight in a military uniform because of my age but I can fight for our veterans and active-duty personnel in the way I live my life and in how I serve others.
JC: What goals do you have still to finish in 2019?
AR: I have so many goals! I was supposed to hike to base camp Everest but will now have to move that to the spring because I chose to go do volunteer disaster relief work in the Bahamas instead. I need to finish writing my next book, Obscure to Secure (it’s about suicide and how to overcome it, it includes my story transparently of how I battled it) and I am working with my business partner to get our initiative (The Hour Glass Initiative) started.
JC: Social media is EVERYWHERE, what are your thoughts on this new wave?
AR: Social media IS everywhere, haha. I think social media is good to an extent but as with many other things, it has been perverted by many. It has slowly influenced many, especially our youth, to believe that vanity and material things are what matters. In doing so, it has convinced many others that they are not enough because of the highlight reels of others. Because of this, I have tried to use mine to help those, who actually read my content that I post with my photos, to realize they are enough, I try to teach how to live on purpose and I try to influence those in the opposite of the perversion.
Bonus Questions:
JC: What do you do for fun and to relax?
AR: I do many things that I consider fun and relaxing. I like to get my dopamine fix and adrenaline running so when I am able, I will jump out of a plane, go shooting, climb the side of a rock, etc. I love facials at medical spas, and like most girls, I enjoy manicures, pedicures and massages. I will sit on a beach, when I can get near one, to listen to the waves and the wind. If it’s not a beach then it’s a mountain top or wherever I can go to just sit, be still, listen and just take in all of God’s majesty that surrounds me. I like to just be in the moment and breathe until the happiness and thankfulness on the inside is reflected with a smile on my face on the outside.
JC: Who is Alysia Rieg?
AR: Alysia Rieg….I have so many sides to me. I am always reinventing myself and trying to become a better person, a better human. I am always trying to live literally on purpose and trying to go deeper. I am a lifetime student and I try to help others to do the same. I am fearless, I am compassionate, I live my truth with no excuses regardless of what others may think or say. I do it unapologetically and I will always try to be kind.
JC: What lead to you writing the book, and what do you hope people get out of it?

AR:  My first book, For Such A Time As This, was laid on my heart by God. During my healing process, I saw so many going through what I just went through so I wanted to write a “How to” book, if you will, on how to go from being a victim to an overcomer. I share my story transparently as well as how I overcame it along with a 30-day workout and a 30-day meal plan. It’s the workout I did during my healing, it’s perfect for anyone just starting out or returning to the gym. So many books say “I was a victim and I overcame” but they don’t tell you how to get to the victory. I teach in my first book how to become the victor.My next book, Obscure to Secure, is to be published next year and I am writing it to help those who are suffering from depression who think their life does not matter and who want to end their life. In John 10:10 lt says, “The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.” The enemy did this to me. So I am now fighting back and helping others to live, to fight back so they too can help others who need hope, light or someone to help carry the burden and to get through.

THANK YOU, Joe, for choosing me for this interview, Thank you for asking me to share part of my story. Thank you for your time. I am honored.

Now, if that doesn’t get you in the right frame of mind for tackling whatever issues you have going on and also prep for the upcoming holiday season! I want to thank Alysia for giving me some of her time and allowing me to share her journey. What’s next for her? Find out by giving her a follow on one of many social media accounts, both personal and professional.



Joe Cardoso
About Joe Cardoso 235 Articles
Joe (Cartright) Cardoso here! I’m the epitome of a sports junkie. An alum of the College of Southern Maryland, I received a diploma from the Maryland Institute of Broadcasting (MIB). During my tenure at MIB, I was a news/sports major and had the opportunity to intern at Fox 45 sports and Ravens Radio. I also worked as an overnight board operator for Sports Talk 980 ESPN Radio. I’ve been a total sports fanatic pretty much from the womb. My first love is soccer followed by basketball and then football. My favorite athletes are Kevin Garnett and Marino Rivera and my sports teams are the Yankees, Redskins, Michigan, Wizards, and Chelsea. My passion for sports is never ending. My sister once commented that I would probably follow pig racing if it was a sport! I had to agree. Nuts and Bolts Sports is a HUGE deal to me. It brings together others who share my obsession and love for everything sports and fulfills a life-long dream to bring sports news to fans my way.
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