CHCF: Can you tell me a little about yourself?
AA: I was born in the Bronx and raised in East New York, Brooklyn. From there I went to undergrad at Kingsborough Community College, where I received my associate’s degree and Brooklyn College for my bachelor’s in mass communications. I worked at dead-end jobs until I grew frustrated and began writing. After freelancing for a while as a writer, I landed an internship at the New York Daily News and from there I went to the Graduate School at UC Berkley for Journalism to obtain my master’s. While at Cal, I worked as an intern at New York Newsday. After graduating U.C. Berkeley, I worked as an intern staff writer/reporter at The Oakland Tribune, the Oregonian and eventually landed a staff writer/reporter position at the Corpus Christi Caller Times in Texas, where I was the only person of color in the main newsroom. Consequently, I experienced a great deal of racism and to make a long story short, I ended up back in New York without a job. I saw an advertisement on TV asking for teachers, and thought: “maybe I can do that.” I was placed at an elementary school as a Writing Cluster Teacher; where first-to- sixth graders thought I was there to monitor their playtime. Then I thought teaching at a Junior High would be better until an 8th grader assaulted me. While working there, I also moonlighted as an adjunct English Professor at College of New Rochelle’s satellite campus, where the World Trade Center used to be, teaching English. Even in that abysmal time, I thought I found my niche, teaching adults because they understood me and didn’t want to run around and play. (Laughter)
Needless to say, I liked teaching adults so much that I made a lot of contacts, which landed me an adjunct English Professorial job at the City University of New York at Medgar Evers College, Borough Manhattan Community and Kingsborough Community Colleges. I am currently at KCC, working on my fiction authorial career.
CHCF: So you worked your way up - and you’re still using your knowledge and experience - but to a crowd that gets you.
AA: Right. I’ve worked at KCC as an Adjunct English Professor…but I’m getting a little tired of being an adjunct as well. So, that’s another long story. (Laughter)
CHCF: How long have you been in Crown Heights?
AA: I’ve lived across the Atlantic Avenue in Bed-Stuy for about ten years.
CHCF: How did you learn about CrossFit?
AA: My boyfriend told me that I’d love CrossFit. I’d come home complaining after taking classes at the Y because I wasn’t popping a sweat and didn’t feel challenged. So he told me that I needed to do CrossFit. I thought that might be a good idea, but then I got arthritis in my knees and did not exercise close to a half a year. I used to run and exercise every day, and then nothing, zippo. I went to an orthopedic doctor to get checked out and he prescribed physical therapy until I got the green light to work out again. So I thought, maybe this will be a perfect time to do CrossFit. So here I am!
I did a little research to find the nearest Crossfit gym and found CrowHill. At that time, I did not know what to look for in a Crossfit gym, but when I arrived and met the coaches, I realized that I am in an A number one spot. All of the coaches are absolutely excellent.
CHCF: So you mentioned running and exercising in the past, have you always been athletic?
AA: No….not necessarily (laughter). As a kid, I’d rather sit for hours reading and writing as I watched my cousins play. I always frowned at any type of exercise, for I didn’t want to pop a sweat. In gym class, I was the little fat girl in the corner that no one wanted to pick for their team. I was considered a scrub. However, as an adult, I became very active and running was my favorite sport. I used to run six miles every other day.
CHCF: What about CrossFit workouts do you like the most?
AA: I never thought I would like weightlifting. But I really like weightlifting!
CHCF: Do you have a favorite lift?
AA: I like doing deadlifts. I’m starting to like squats. At first, I couldn’t get down at all because of mobility issues; it was hard for me - so I had to work on sitting down on a medicine ball. And I just like the idea that we’re doing multiple exercises within a time frame. And it’s never the same exercise every day. That’s what I like about CrossFit.
CHCF: Do you have any specific goals, or is there anything that you’re working on?
AA: I finally met my goal that Steve put up on the whiteboard in January, “Adanze is going to squat 65 lbs without a medicine ball” and I did it last week! I have to start working on the scaled HSPUs and I would like to run around the block without stopping and I met that last week! I would love to do a pull-up. Now that’s a goal! I have so many goals. (Laughter)
CHCF: Is there anything else you’d like gym goers to know?
AA: I want to talk to those who are like me. I want to say, don’t give up, and be determined and see things through. You can achieve your goals, but it’s not going to happen overnight, but you will get there.
CHCF: I think we all need to hear that.
AA: You just keep going. Just keep going.