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  • Victoria Correa

BRSN & Slope Media Present: An Interview Ashleigh Gundy

Ashleigh Gundy is a Junior defender on the Cornell Women’s Lacrosse Team from Southampton, NY. Outside of lacrosse, she runs her own fitness/lifestyle page on Instagram, @projectafitness_. Read below to learn about her journey in becoming a college lacrosse player, how the CUW Lax Team has impacted her, and what she’s learned from managing her fitness page!

How did you get into lacrosse as a kid?

I started playing lacrosse in second grade. I did a bunch of sports: tennis, horseback riding, gymnastics, and soccer, to name a few. Since I was a kid, I’ve loved staying active and being on a team. One of my mom’s friends introduced me to lacrosse, and there was something special about it. Lacrosse became my main sport by the time I got to middle school. I stuck with that as well as field hockey in high school.

If there’s one thing you could do again on a lax field, what would it be?

Taking the draw — I used to play midfielder and take the draw before I came to Cornell. It’s something about being in the circle and working with the three-person dynamic that’s exciting. I would also play in summer tournaments again. When I got to Cornell, I switched to defense.

What was the college recruiting process like?

I was recruited as a midfielder, and I learned to play defense. The positive is that I learned about the defense role. I chose Cornell because of the academic aspect. Great balance of academics and athletics. I love the campus as well. I’m majoring in Communications and minoring in Business. Also, I really like the team and their values — hard work, positive attitude, and team first. There’s a huge emphasis on team building because the team wants to make the experience better for future generations. You’re taught to push yourself- if one person messes up, it falls back on the team. We are also taught how to be a good leader on and off the field- you have to experience and then learn from those experiences.

Favorite food?

Sushi! Philly rolls are my favorite.

Favorite places you’ve been to?

Machu Pichu, Havana, and Curacao

Ideal Cornell Weekend Pre-COVID?

An ideal weekend includes hanging out with my friends and teammates. Before COVID, we would go out to dinner with the entire team.

If you could choose a song to describe the Cornell Women’s Lacrosse team, which one would it be?

I would say Topanga by Trippie Redd.

Photo by Ben Parker

What teammates have supported you the most on the field?

I’m grateful for my entire team, but a few people off the top of my head are Ellie Walsh, Hannah O’Rielly, and Ciara Frawley. Hannah graduated two years ago and she was an amazing mentor, leader, and friend. She gave great advice and was an amazing defender.

Favorite things to do with teammates this year?

Lifting together and apple picking in the fall. 🙂

What role do you see lax playing in your life going forward?

It’s allowed me to manage my time effectively and to continue to improve.

I can see myself continuing to learn to work with different people. Leading on and off the field is a skill I’ll keep with me, especially for the professional world. The lessons lacrosse taught me about being on a team and what that really means are not something you can just learn in a classroom.

Do you think the WPLL will restart again after the economic hardships brought by the pandemic is over?

I hope it starts up again because it was a great opportunity for women to play professional lacrosse. COVID has made other businesses hesitant to invest in many things, but my hope is that the WPLL or another women’s professional lacrosse league will start up again in the future.

What inspired you to start a fitness page?

I have a love for fitness and food, and I went through a weight loss journey years ago.

I want to help people achieve their body/fitness goals. I lost 30 pounds and wanted to do it in a healthy way and not go on a diet. There’s a difference between dieting and a lifestyle change.

I love cooking and finding new foods that are healthy but also really delicious.

What changes have you made to improve the page as time went on?

I started this in January 2020. At first, I started it with workout pictures and getting across who I am and what the purpose of the page is. I wanted to start by helping people be comfortable with their body image. Nowadays, I’ve included videos in the IGTV section called “Getting it with Gundy” — getting the goods, knowledge of how I lost weight, tips on groceries, etc. They’re not pre-filmed, they’re 2 minutes or less, and I bring guests on as well. I realized that offering a more holistic approach to fitness, such as including food, is important to running a fitness page.

What’s your favorite workout you’ve designed?

All of my ab workouts are my favorite workouts. In particular, my ab burning video on my fitness page from August 2020. It includes hip lifts, side tap push-ups, oblique crunches, and other exercises. You can do this workout outside when it’s nice out. Even if you don’t have access to a gym, you can do my workouts at home. I like to incorporate workouts together and make them fun.

Do you take into account tips from your strength coach when designing your workouts?

I try not to include anything directly from my strength coach Erika Rogan to keep my athletic workouts and my fitness page separate. I do take tips for things like pushup form from her. Also the mindset things: for example finishing the last rep even when you really don’t want to.

Who are your workouts tailored to?

Young adults are my main target audience. Some of the things I’m doing are more geared towards athletes, but I like to have beginner, intermediate, and advanced workouts. Anybody who wants to work out, people who want to build abs and sculpt their body.

My brother Trey shoots a lot of my videos. I did a children’s workout. And once I did a workout with the middle school lacrosse kids — it inspired me to help kids during COVID.

Advice you would give to people who want to start working out regularly?

Start out consistently, and push yourself. That way it will become your lifestyle.

Don’t look at it as something you’ll just do for a month, because that way you won’t maintain what you wanted to achieve.

Where do you see this fitness account going? Will you continue it after graduation?

Yes, it’s a passion of mine. I hope to turn it into something bigger than what it is. After graduation, I will continue working on it. I will continue to teach people fitness tips, finding new ways of eating healthy but enjoyable meals.

That concludes our first interview! I really feel like I learned a lot about Ashleigh. Keep an eye out for more profiles, and be sure to check out Ashleigh’s account, @projectafitness_!

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