FF: What makes fitness so joyful for you?
CRAWFORD: The sense of relief, the sense of being, and more self-awareness for myself. I can do this. I may not have the range of motion of a 26 year old, but I can still move, and I’m grateful for that. It brings a sense of accomplishment when you complete an exercise.
FF: Do you follow a schedule? How do you structure your training?
CRAWFORD: I used to follow a regimented schedule. Now I don’t. I make a commitment to do something at least four to five days a week because I teach also and count that into my schedule. On Thursdays I run. On Sundays I run or cycle. Maybe tomorrow I’ll lift. It can be a bit sporadic in my mind, but I just make a plan, know what my plan is, and do it. Sometimes Plan A doesn’t come through, so I don’t want to put too many parameters on myself.
FF: Do you find that working out is less stressful if you don’t follow a strict regimen?
CRAWFORD: Absolutely. I used to follow a strict schedule. Run Monday, lift Tuesday, swim Wednesday, that type of thing. But I go with the flow now. I know I have to move whether it’s cycling, running, lifting, yoga, or swimming. And I do take rest days. Those rest days are really important to rejuvenate yourself.
FF: What does a rest day look like for you?
CRAWFORD: A rest day is catching up. Maybe it’s reading. Actually, now I’m in a program to teach energy healing through yoga. It’s pretty neat. I’m taking a course online to add those methodologies into my yoga. It’s very peaceful and insightful.
FF: Yoga and mindfulness elements have been finding their way into the mainstream more and more. Do you think a person needs to be spiritual to get into these practices? Would you say it’s accessible for everyone?
CRAWFORD: It’s accessible for everyone. To me, it has nothing to do with how spiritual you are. It’s about your own mindset and what you’re willing to put into it.
Of course, for the last seven months our lives have been upended by the coronavirus. People have lost their jobs and their income. But even with so many factors stressing us out, if you can take five to 10 minutes to remove busy thoughts and find your own peace, it can make you more tolerant of a lot of things.
It makes you into a better human, when you do it with consistency, and it relieves a whole lot of stress. I find that when I teach meditation, people find comfort in taking 45 minutes away from everything. It’s just them and the mat. It’s so important.
FF: How can yoga and mindfulness practices benefit runners?
CRAWFORD: You have to find time to create space for bones to rejuvenate, to reset. Running causes so much tightness and stiffness. Yoga helps runners to lengthen and strengthen and open up space throughout the body. There are specific sequences that I teach and particular poses that can compliment any type of runner. It’s so important to balance your body rather than using running alone.
FF: You are an ambassador and board member for Black Girls Run (BGR). What does this group mean to you? What makes BGR so special?
CRAWFORD: BGR to me is family. It’s fellowship. It’s accountability, it’s connection. A dear friend of mine asked if I wanted to join them as I was training for the Nike Women’s half marathon in DC many years ago. Eventually I became a run coordinator and then an ambassador. I work collaboratively with three other ambassadors in DC. It has been life for me. Coming from a place where I weighed over 300 pounds down to where I am now, to making so many friends. I have attended weddings and baby showers. BGR is like my extended family.
Follow Black Girls Run on Instagram @OfficialBlackGirlsRun
FF: You live an incredibly busy and active life, between your full-time job and being an ambassador and teacher. What do you do to stay centered and balance it all?
I pray. I love to get a mani, pedi, a massage. I take the time to disconnect and wind down.
Follow Adina Crawford on Instagram at Deanietheyogini and at her website Adinacrawford.weebly.com.
By Kate Schwartz. Schwartz has been running competitively for 20 years, and she currently runs with the Asheville Running Collective. She lives in Asheville, NC, with her husband, Alex, and their cat, Clementine.