Athlete Name: Mackenzie Adair
Hometown: Pleasantville, NY
Education: 7th Grader, Pleasantville Middle School
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m Mackenzie – my coaches like to call me “Big Mack” because I’ve always been a small powerhouse! I am in 7th grade and my favorite subjects are English and French – tres bien! I am a dancer and I have been dancing for 3 years. Before that, I was a gymnast for 8 years. When I was 8 years old, I was the New York State Level 4 Gymnastics Champion on balance beam, floor exercise and all around champion. I play field hockey at my middle school with 2 of my best friends, Kirsten and Elizabeth. I live with my Mom Linda, my Dad David and my big sister Jessica who is 14, and our cat Samantha.
I was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis before I was even born. My mom remembers the day they told her and she always how she knew right then and there I would be a fighter. I have always been small for my age but fierce! I have been pretty lucky so far with CF, but it’s not easy. Sometimes I just can’t do what I want to do when I want to do it. And it’s not a lot of fun having to carry around inhalers or do nebulizer treatments at night but I know that I’m much luckier than other kids with CF. That’s why we try to help raise money for research. But my mutation is also very unpredictable. It seems like every couple of months it changes and then everything changes for me. But everyone in my life does everything they can to support me and make me feel like I’m just like everyone else.
I have to always be moving! You will find me dancing around the house or jumping on our trampoline most days. My mom is a runner, and we love to run together at Rockefeller State Park. I can do about a mile, but one day I hope to run the Team Boomer Run to Breathe with her! Dancing takes a lot of work and lot of breaths. This year I was asked to be a member of the dance company and I’m competing for the first time this weekend in 4 dances! Every Saturday, I rehearse with the company for anywhere from 3 to 6 hours. It’s so good for me to always be active. My lungs need to know that they can do more than they think they can do.
I also perform with our All County Chorus at school and play the flute in our school orchestra. Sometimes that literally takes the breath out of me.
I love classic rock music especially Billy Joel and last year we got to see him in concert in NYC! I also love chocolate, Kate Spade, the movies Center Stage and Stick It, baking with my Kitchen Aid and my favorite sports team is the New England Patriots. We love to visit our family in Boston and we also love to visit Mystic, Connecticut.
I don’t let CF define me – I’m just Mackenzie, a kid who tries to do it all!
“I'm just Mackenzie, a kid who tries to do it all!”
Tell us what motivates you the most.
I am so motivated by everyone in my life. I want to do it all, be the best at everything, and I never stop trying and never let CF stop me. I am motivated a lot by my friends who support me so much. They encourage me to keep going even when I think I can’t. Competing motivates me too. I love the day of a competition or a game and I know that I get to go out there and push myself to win.
Why do you exercise?
I feel like I’ve always been an athlete and to be a good athlete you have to exercise. I have to keep moving to stay healthy keep my lungs healthy. I have a commitment to my team, whatever team it is, to be healthy and be able to do whatever they need me to do. Being part of a team means being healthy and being responsible to perform or play at your best so you don’t let your teammates down. That really motivates me to exercise.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
When I grow up I am told that I should be a lawyer because I have been arguing since I was 2. And I never back down from an argument. I guess it was meant to be being a Libra, plus, the law is everywhere is my life because of my mom. I grew up with it and I do love it! I used to want to be an FBI agent but now I think a District Attorney.
Who is your role model?
My role model is my sister Jessica. She is beautiful, smart, sings like an angel and works so hard at everything she does and she is my absolute best friend in the world. She comes to every doctor appointment with me and holds my hand during the tough tests. My other role model is Misty Copeland. Misty is an athlete and a dancer and she has proved that working hard as an athlete can make you a beautiful dancer and I also love how she has overcome so many obstacles in her life to be the dancer she is today. She has broken through so many boundaries that could have held her back but she wouldn’t let them. That’s how I feel about having CF. I don’t let it hold me back, ever.
What is your message to other people with CF about exercise?
Keep doing what you do and do even more every day! I feel stronger and stronger the more I exercise, plus, when I met Boomer last year he told me I had to :). The stronger your body is, the stronger your lungs will be. Even when you think that you can’t do one more thing, you can, even when you’re in the hospital, just think about what you will do when you’re better and able to exercise again. I think just imagining how to get past being sick with CF is all you need to keep going.