Li Xu

In 2012, Li was in her mid-30s trying to execute a stressful job as a Senior Accounting Manager. She was putting in long hours cleaning up accounting issues across the globe and was frustrated because she constantly felt tired. A friend suggested she join Houston Fit, and Li says the rest is history. She discovered that running keeps her calm and gives her energy to deal with complexissues at work. Shortly after joining Houston Fit, she decided she wanted to train harder and enter a race, but Li injured her foot and went to see a doctor. She was told she had flat feed and should find another sport besides running to keep fit. However, she was not deterred. Instead, she figured out how to overcome her injury and continue to race. A couple years later, another friend invited Li to hike Mt. Kilimanjaro. She had never hiked before, but thought it sounded like a great adventure. She says she went to REI and purchased half the store in order to get ready for the trip. Li had so much fun on that expedition that she decided to organize a group called the Houston Mountaineering and Trekking Club. They meet along Buffalo Bayou and climb the stairs and hills around the bayou to prepare for upcoming adventures.  As if Li's life was not busy enough already, this past year another friend invited her to a ballroom dancing competition at the University of Houston. She loved watching the competitors move across the floor and quickly realized she could also incorporate dancing into her athletic regimen. Li says she was hooked immediately. Today, her primary passion is ballroom dancing. She would love to one day dance with some of the stars she sees on television. However, due to the extensive time required to rehearse and the fact that she needs a partner for every practice, she finds it is easier to exercise through running. Li says that in order to maintain balance in her life, she maintains a Happy List and only does activities from this list. She also hopes to alter the stereotypes of CPAs. Finally, given her enthusiasm for ballroom dancing, along with her appreciation for running and mountain climbing, she wants to develop a new way for people to approach their jobs that combines professional development with exercise. She is not sure what this new methodology would be called, but she is confident everyone will realize and appreciate the benefits that can be found by blending fitness with a career.