By the age of 12, Adena Andrews already knew she’d have a career in sports journalism. “I told my dad that I’d do anything that gets me on the floor of a [New York] Knicks game,” she says. “I’d be on the dance team, I’d be a photographer — whatever it took.”
A young Andrews gained a head start on her future career by creating homemade commercials in the kitchen with her dad’s video camera. Later, in high school, she paired her eagerness to test out her journalism skills with sports, as she powered through track and swim practices. But with her broad shoulders, and muscular thighs, she was teased about her developing, Serena Williams-esque physique. Luckily, her teammates jokes didn’t sidetrack her drive.
Now, as the current social media director for SOZE and former social media editor for espnW, Andrews opens up to her sweat. about overcoming insecurities about her body, her athletic mindset and working out for sanity, not skinniness.
HOW BEING TEASED MADE ME AWARE OF MY BODY: I didn’t know I had a body-ody-ody [Laughs] until senior year in high school. Part of it was going into puberty while spending two to three hours in a bathing suit. I’m coming back from summer break and my bathing suits fit differently. I was also the manager of the boys’ swim team, and the boys would say something different, so I was self-conscious and would wear shorts around the pool. Sometimes someone would throw my shorts in the pool, but I’d still put them on because I was very self-conscious of my thighs and butt.
People would call me “manly man” or “diesel” because I had broad shoulders and really developed biceps from swimming. I knew in the back of my head [my build helped me] to be fast and to be the best, but I didn’t want to be called those things at all.
HOW I PUSHED PASS MY INSECURITIES: My coach said, ‘You don’t get involved with boys until you’re done with your athletic career,’ and I will say that’s probably what benefited me. I was not really into boys until I was done with school. I was all about performance and comfortability in my looks. And understanding that my body was built for performance, not looks.