Running Changes Everything: Meet Adina

Adina Crawford says she doesn’t know where she’d be without running, but she’s certainly glad she found it. For her, running has changed everything.

Admittedly a “late bloomer” who came into running later in life, the 58-year-old resident of the Washington D.C. metro area says her immersion into the running lifestyle has improved her health and fitness while also providing discipline, purpose and structure to her daily life. Running has also welcomed her into a community of inspiring and encouraging like-minded people. And she says it all started the day she walked into Fleet Feet Gaithersburg about 13 years ago.

“Running teaches you to be the best version of yourself every single day, and part of that comes from what we share as runners,” says Crawford, who works as a civilian supervisor for the Montgomery County Police Department. “I have to be honest, I don’t know where I would be without that. One thing that really helps me move is the encouraging and uplifting community, and that’s one of the biggest things running has given me. I started late into the running game, but what I learned is it doesn’t matter when you start, just as long as you start.”

Adina Crawford

Getting Started

Like many new runners, Crawford says she was looking for a way to improve her fitness when she started running in her mid-40s. But she admits she didn’t have a clue how to begin. She didn’t know anything about running shoes or what clothes to wear, and was concerned that most running apparel brands weren’t size inclusive.

“It was nerve-wracking because I really didn’t know where to start,” she recalls. “Back then, I didn’t run at all, and I was a lot heavier than I am now. It was definitely stepping out of my comfort zone to even want to get started.”

With all of the courage she could muster, Crawford walked into Fleet Feet Gaithersburg with the intent of becoming a runner. To her pleasant surprise, her anxieties were immediately put to rest as she was greeted by a warm and hospitable atmosphere in the store.

“It was the most welcoming and easy experience I could have imagined,” she recalls. “That’s how it started for me. Without that, I wouldn’t be a runner today. I tell people I started with Fleet Feet.”

Finding Her Joy

Spend a few minutes with Crawford or go on a run with her and you’ll feel the positive energy she exudes. She’s always been motivated and outgoing, but the running community offered a welcoming sense of inclusion and the opportunity to feel a part of something special.

Crawford discovered the true joy of running as she engaged with the running community, learned more about training, nutrition, races and gear and developed friendships with other runners. She has continued running on a regular basis, become a certified running coach and an ambassador for Black Girls Run!, Nuun, HoneyStinger and other organizations, completed numerous half marathons, two marathons and a triathlon, and developed a love of trail running, yoga and cycling.

For Crawford, running is about fun, fitness and the freedom of movement. She says anyone who isn’t yet a runner can experience exactly what she has by walking into a Fleet Feet store.

“We can all get out there and move as runners, no matter the pace we’re running,” she says. “There shouldn’t be any excuses with all of the opportunities and encouragement out there, but it’s only you that can help move yourself forward. You have to have that will power and you have to remove that word ‘can’t’ from your vocabulary. You might be running 8-minute miles and I might be running a 12-minute mile. We’re all equal because we’re all out there experiencing the joy of moving our bodies.”

Stay tuned next week to learn more about how Running Changes Everything® for Adina.

Adina Crawford sits on a fence and smiles.

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