Lexi Mossman, ’15, is the founder of MountainFit, a personalized athletic training service in Vail, Colorado, that caters to tourists and locals by offering hands-on therapies to evaluate, treat, and prevent injuries. Mossman—who visits her clients’ homes and hotel rooms—also founded a monthly meetup of mountain professionals, has spoken at small-business conferences, and is currently writing a book on entrepreneurship. Here, she shares advice gleaned from her experiences at U-M, which have positively affected her burgeoning career.
Work hard. I majored in athletic training in the School of Kinesiology. I was with a sports team every semester, getting football players ready for practice at 4:30 a.m., covering home and away field and ice hockey games, and treating injuries late into the evening. I also worked with the women’s lacrosse team. I was with my teams up to 70 hours a week. I was so busy that even dating seemed like an extra four-credit class that I didn’t have time for. But as a Type A person, hard work and those early mornings encouraged my discipline and drive.
Think outside the box. Vail has always been the epicenter of sports medicine in my mind. The summer after my junior year, I wanted to intern for a famous orthopedic clinic in Vail, the Steadman Clinic, but they do not have college athletic training internships. So I pitched them the internship I hoped to have, and they accepted me. If what you want doesn’t exist, create your own opportunities.
Don’t be afraid to change your path. I had a plan to attend graduate school in athletic training, which means being assigned to an athletic team. I was assigned to the University of Utah ski team and soon after knew I was not in the right place. After expressing frustrations to my parents, they asked, “Why don’t you leave?”
That possibility had not occurred to me. Quitting was a foreign concept. The next day, I resigned. Starting a business had never crossed my mind until I discussed the possibility with my parents one day.
Define what you want. Consider questions like, “What makes me happy?” “What are my skills?” “How do I define success?” I grew up in Nashville but always went on ski vacations with my family in Vail. I knew from a young age I wanted to work with professional skiers. Now, I treat skiers, mountain bikers, and X Games athletes, and I have also discovered my true passion of entrepreneurship.
When starting my business, the first thing I did was write a mission statement to know what I wanted my business to be. Now, every decision is based on aligning with that mission statement.
Utilize all resources. At U-M, I worked with some of the best collegiate athletes in the world, at some of the best facilities in the world, and learned from them. Always ask questions, and meet one-on-one with mentors and career center professionals. Continue these conversations even after leaving school. These relationships help propel you in your future endeavors.
Remember, we are the Leaders and Best. You are at the greatest university in the world, and U-M grads can do anything. I became an entrepreneur without business experience. I am the first in my field to provide mobile athletic training in this way. You can accomplish your dreams and goals. Your journey continues after you leave the Big House. But the pride of your hard work will never leave you.
Monica Fedrigo, ’01, is a writer (mountainmonica.com) and ski coach living in Jackson, Wyoming.