It has been said many times, many different ways that if you want to live a happy life, serve someone else. Spend an afternoon with Pine View Panther and senior, Alexis ‘Lexi’ Olds and you realize how true that is. The young lady radiates happiness with her incredible attitude and caring smile.
Displaying a high level of maturity and forward thinking Lexi determined early on that ‘taking things easy’ was not going to be an option she would be willing to consider. “I’ve always wanted to be challenged. I watched my older brother really work and it paid off for him in school and I thought if I am going to be going to school then I might as well be doing something that is challenging me and actually teaching me something.”
When asked about her grades it was one A- grade that stood out for her. “I cried actually, if you want to know the truth.” Not quite achieving the 4.0 GPA she would like, she still prides herself in maintaining a rigorous class schedule. “All of my classes have always been Honors or AP. Right now I’m taking AP Lit., AP Gov., Math 1050 [college course]. It is fun to have a little bit of a challenge even though sometimes it can be a little overwhelming. It’s all fun.”
Lexi is no stranger to hard work. She maintains a challenging class load, training for track, a job, and normal family responsibilities. Yet, that is not enough, the young lady takes on even more, Student Body Vice-President!
As Student Body Vice-President, this Lady Panther knows how to have fun. She has the responsibility to lead the coveted segment of the stands set aside for all things School Spirit, the Student Section.
“I am a student section junkie! I love the student section.” Says Lexi, “The responsibility is demanding but not overwhelming. It’s more fun than anything else. I get to plan all of the student section themes, dances and stuff like that. That’s why I love it. It is just so much fun.” So, if you catch a Pine View game or two and see teenagers wearing pajamas, odd hats, faces painted or dressed in Halloween costumes sitting together having a blast, well, that would be Lexi’s doing and nothing will pull her away, it’s where she belongs. “I seriously just love the student section.”
One can appreciate the humility and character of Olds and the example she has set for those around her. Reflecting on life beyond high school, and what she would like to be remembered most for, she answers in a way that shows the bond she has with each of her teammates. “We are a really close group. I have had so much fun with my teammates and I hope they have had fun with me too. I hope when it is all done that my teammates know that I tried to be a friend to everyone on the team. Obviously if I was looked at as a leader by my teammates that would be awesome but I would rather be seen as a friend. I don’t really feel superior to anyone.”
Seeded in second place going into the 400m finals for region as a sophomore, Lexi recalls an event that would continue to shape and define her as an individual. Knowing that the top four finishers would advance to the state tournament regardless of time ,Lexi would make a shift in her strategy.
“I wanted to qualify [for state] by time, not place.” Lexi remembers. “The girl who was seeded first, Melissa Kunz, from Canyon View, she is so good. She actually ended up taking state. So, in our race together though I changed my strategy that day and I ran with her the first 300-350m of the race, and that is not how I run my race. I was not strong enough.”
Lexi faced one of her most difficult challenges while simultaneously growing in the process. Lexi would not qualify to attend the state tournament and compete in the individual events that year. She found herself coming in at fifth place by less than one second. “It was hard. I lost by .01 seconds. That was definitely my most challenging moment, yet it was good for me too. I thought to myself, I don’t ever want to be beat like that again. I had to learn how to take it the right way and use it to motivate me for the next year, to do better, and run my race.”
For Lexi, learning to deal with and overcome challenges has been a source of strength. She sees the world through a lens that many do not. This has instilled in her the desire to serve others in any way she can. One way in particular is as a special needs para. “I would basically be an assistant to the special needs teacher and I would go to the schools that need help. This is something that I kind of already get to do at school. It is something that I have always loved doing.”
“Lexi is so amazing,” says Jana Olds, Lexi’s mother, “She has always been the type who loves serving others. She is like an older soul in this little body. She helps me so much. It’s like a joy for her, and not only does she balance everything she has to do, she always finds time to serve someone else.”
Given all that she hopes to become, it’s no wonder that Lexi looks to her LDS faith for spiritual direction and guidance. Sharing her favorite scripture one can more fully understand just who Lexi Olds is.
“Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.” – Alma 26:12
“My family, friends, teachers, and coaches,” says Lexi, “have made me who I am today. Showing me how to love, serve, and work hard, they’ve taught me that when God comes first all things are possible.” The Olds family must be proud of who their daughter has become, the example she is setting and the course for her life she has chosen. The young lady has learned how to run her race and live her life to the fullest. • HSSI