With as much sun as we get in and around Topsail, as well as our closeness of the beach, we are outside a lot. It’s no wonder that fitness interests our community. More people than ever understand how proper exercise and good eating habits contribute to overall well-being. It can be an incredibly personal undertaking, learning how to take care of one’s physical self, and gyms can be intimidating for people not used to them. Lexi Pickle wants to ease some of those anxieties.
At her gym, Topsul Fitness, Lexi Pickle and her team of trainers empower members to reach their own fitness goals. Whether a beginner or experienced weightlifter, Topsul Fitness strives to be accommodating while helping people reach their many different fitness goals.
For those not ready to commit to a gym membership, they have several payment options, including a day or week pass (great for vacationers!).
Lexi Pickle and her husband Matt had discussed opening a gym, albeit offhandedly, for only about a year prior to purchasing Topsul Fitness in February 2019. As a member of Sneads Ferry Fitness, Matt approached the owner as the Pickles saw an opportunity they just couldn’t miss out on. The location was perfect and had lots of room for expansion. Matt and Lexi jumped at the chance.
Although the couple have always been physically active, opening a gym is a new pursuit of theirs. Matt has been an enthusiastic weight lifter for a long time, and over the last few years Lexi too has gotten into lifting, but neither would describe themselves as gym rats. With Topsul Fitness, the Pickles saw an opportunity to open a gym that even people who have never looked forward to a work out would looking forward to joining.
Although Lexi and Matt own Topsul Fitness together, it is admittedly more Lexi’s project than Matt’s. His tech consulting business and other start up ventures are where he focuses his business acumen. While he runs his businesses from the family’s camper, affectionally called Jade, Lexi takes care of the gym’s day-to-day operations. Matt helps with the big decisions and submits requests to Lexi for his favorite gym equipment.
As entrepreneurs, the Pickles love how receptive the Topsail community is to local businesses, but they don’t just do business here. Topsul Fitness sponsors local events such as Ocean Fest, Paddle for Troops, and the Mimosa Bay Turkey Trot. After seeing a social media post from the PTO head looking for donations the Pickles graciously decided to take care of it all. They donated a set of outdoor games and a storage shed to the students at Dixon Elementary School. Beginning in January of 2020, $1 per draft payment now goes to a charity. Their generosity of funds and time makes them valuable members of not just the local economy but the the community as well.
For as involved as they are in the Topsail community, the Pickles haven’t been here long. Much like how they found themselves owners of a gym, how the Pickle family ended up in North Topsail Beach is a credit to their spontaneity.
They vacationed in Topsail for a number of years before buying their own beach home in August 2017. Lovingly dubbed Pickle Palms, Lexi and Matt split their time between Roanoke, VA and Topsail Beach, NC for 3 years, renting Pickle Palms during peak tourist season and staying their themselves as crowds dissipated.
Like many Topsail residents before them, it wasn’t long before living in North Topsail Beach part time wasn’t enough. After years of going back and forth between NC and VA, the Pickles decided to make the move permanent. Lexi and Matt, along with their sons Lincoln and Roan and three dogs, have lived their dream here year-round since June 2019.
Lexi is the first to admit that balancing mom life with business life has been hard at times. Nonetheless, she intends to face the challenge head on and will homeschool her sons for the school years ahead. This year she’ll be opening Topsul Nutrition to complement the gym next store and is also starting an apparel line. She is excited by all her sons will learn from watching parents who run multiple businesses.
When asked what she likes best about being in Topsail full time, she says, “There is something about being able to look out and watch the waves,” and as coastal dwellers, we know exactly what she means.
Lexi and I first met while she was looking for a real estate photographer on Google and we became fast friends. Since then she, her family, and their home have made several guest appearances at RCI+Topsail. Thanks to her photos I was able to show how to photograph your bathroom in its best light. Her vacation home is featured in this post about staging before putting a home on the market. In this article (which gives great tips on how to take breathtaking photographs on the beach regardless of how harsh the light may be) Lexi’s adorable sons were my models.
When I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis, it was Lexi’s suggestion that I join Topsul Fitness to have access to a treadmill. Walking several miles a day was the only way to coax my paralyzed stomach into accepting food. After my surgery, the treadmill was imperative to staying active while still in a weakened state. Thankfully Topsul Fitness isn’t about becoming the biggest or strongest. Instead the gym emphasizes the very personal experience every body has towards fitness. There was never any pressure to go farther or faster, only to do what made me feel best.
Through Topsul Fitness, Lexi extends her positivity by creating a space that is comfortable for everyone. At the gym she isn’t focused solely on helping members look great in a bathing suit. This is a community, after all, that is home to as many active duty reservists as it is retirees, and there is every other type of body in-between. Trainers and other staff at Topsul Fitness and Nutrition are excited to help members on their individual health journeys, but Lexi knows sometimes the hardest part is getting out of your own way.