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Working Out to Leave a Legacy


Alexa “Lex” Karpinski was a workout warrior. The student-athlete at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in New Jersey was as hard a worker in the strength training room as Strength Coach Paul Kolody has seen during his years at the school. It was no surprise. As stated on the website honoring Lex’s legacy, Lex believed that “obstacles could be overcome, and she was determined to conquer them no matter how big or small. She felt strongly that being a part of a team means working together, lifting each other, winning, and losing together on and off the field. In her quiet, humble way, she lead by example.”

Lex passed away suddenly in November 2020. As Coach Kolody and his student-athletes reflected on Lex’s legacy, they decided the best way to Lexi was to hold an event where people give it their all in the weight room. And from that, “Flex for Lex” was born.

“She always brought the energy and was a star in our leadership group, Desire to Lead,” Kolody said. “About a month after Lex passed away, her coaches asked if we could work together to help the healing process. The next year, A couple of her teammates and myself came up with the Flex For Lex theme.”

Coach Kolody and his athletes performed the workout for 22 minutes and 53 seconds; those were Lex’s field hockey and lacrosse uniform numbers, respectively.

Flex for Lex gets held in November, and the workout is the same every year: As many rounds as the athlete can complete performing the following:

• 15 Push-ups

• 15 each leg Single Leg V-Ups

• 15 Body Weight Squats

• 40 Mountain Climbers (20 on each leg)

• 10 each leg Reverse Lunge

• 15 Squat Jumps

Several hundred athletes from across the country and Canada have participated in Flex for Lex during its two years of existence. Former athletes and Hunterdon Central Region HS alums return to participate. News of the event on social media has sparked interest from schools across the country, which have joined in doing the workout.

In holding the event, Kolody publicizes the Iron Girl Project Foundation started by Lex’s parents. The foundation carries Lex’s legacy and awards scholarships to qualifying high school athletes who “exemplify true grit, leadership, and teamwork on and off the field.” Kolody promotes the QR code people can use to donate to the foundation.

For Coach Kolody, it’s all about continuing Lexi’s positive outlook and commitment to others and inspiring others to lead their lives the same way.

Lexi’s quote on the Iron Girl Project Foundation says it all.

“My mission is to leave a legacy. Not like being famous and having people admire me, but leaving a legacy to those around me each day. This means always showing others positivity and creating strong relationships with everyone. It also means teaching others how to be strong and accountable leaders as I learn how to do these things. Suppose I can pass on these traits to just one person I interact with. In that case, it will eventually create a chain and help many become the best versions of themselves as leaders and as athletes long after I am in a new situation and not interacting with these people daily.”

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