Meet Alana! Recently Alana has been learning to box—now she is training for a charity event to support those who have been affected by cancer (Go Alana!). When she’s not punching it out in the ring, you can find Alana reading or exploring new coffee spots in DC. Read the full article to learn more about Alana!
Hannah: What brought you to the DMV?
Alana: After college I worked professionally for my sorority. I traveled around the country visiting different college campuses and helping to start new chapters. When I came down to visit the chapters at American University and George Washington University I fell in love with DC. The girls at the sorority took me around the city, visiting the monuments and fun restaurants. After that visit I knew that DC was the place for me so I made my way down here.
Hannah: Can you describe your dream day in the DMV from start to finish?
Alana: I’m an early bird so my day would start very early. I have a nice little morning routine where I watch Love Island or another silly show while I do the Washington Post crossword. After that, I would go to a workout class. Recently I’ve been going to Urban Boxing DC. Later I would walk down 14th Street and stop by Current Boutique and try to consign some clothing because my friend and I run a small second hand consignment business on Poshmark. Afterwards I would meet up with friends for coffee at Slipstream or The Coffee Bar, and for dinner we’d probably try a new restaurant. I love finding somewhere that has interesting options or even a fun tasting menu.
Hannah: What’s something that you do to relax or for fun after a long day?
Alana: I’m a reader and I read as much as I can. I constantly have books everywhere around my house. My favorite thing to do at the end of a super long day is sit on my couch or in my hammock and dive into a good book. I also work part-time for Lox Club, and while it’s technically a second job, it’s such a fun way to use a different side of my brain doing membership review and copywriting – the team is insanely hilarious too, so that’s a huge plus.
Hannah: How do you connect with Judaism and Jewish community?
Alana: I worked at the American Jewish Committee for just under four years and I loved it. I was working on a program that sent specifically non-Jewish thought leaders to Israel, and the work was so meaningful to me. Since leaving that job, I’ve had to try to find other ways to incorporate Judaism into my life since I’m not doing it on a daily basis. I’ve done a lot of Shabbat dinners through OneTable and I try to go to events within the community. One of my favorite things that I did related to Judaism last year was go with one of my friends to GatherDC’s Alternative Yom Kippur Experience. [Editor’s Note: Keep an eye out for this year’s High Holiday offerings coming soon!] I liked the guided discussions and small group breakouts. It was really meaningful to me to explore Judaism within a different context. Last but not least: I’m a baker so I bake challah probably every other week.
Hannah: Have you picked up any new hobbies recently?
Alana: I used to go to boxing exercise classes and I specifically loved the actual boxing components of it. I just thought it was really fun and it was a good way to get some anxiety out. I later learned about a charity boxing fight called Haymakers for Hope that’s all about knocking out cancer. You apply to the program and they select a certain number of people per year to have a boxing match. It’s the real deal: boxing gloves, headgear, mouthguard, and full punches. This year the DC event is at the Anthem. Recently I have been spending tons of my time at Urban Boxing DC, which is the gym I’m training at, and it’s been such a great experience. I’m starting to get to know all the other people doing Haymakers, and it’s fun to train with people who are all excited about the same cause. Hopefully I will hit my fundraising goal and not get knocked out in the actual fight. Fingers crossed.
Hannah: Wow how amazing! What inspired you to do this?
Alana: I have never been an athletic or sporty person. But when I heard about Haymakers, I was so inspired by the idea of knocking out cancer. I’ve had so many people in my life who’ve been affected by cancer. Both my grandmother and my stepmother are cancer survivors and when I think about the community of my friends, family, and my support system, cancer has touched pretty much everyone in some way, shape, or form. I’m turning 30 in November, which is almost exactly a month after the fight. As I reflect on this past decade, I’ve had such an amazing support system as I’ve handled my physical and mental health journey, so participating in Haymakers is a way that I can give back to the community that’s given so much to me.
Hannah: Do you have anything that’s at the top of your bucket list right now?
Alana: Yes, I do! I mentioned that I’m turning 30 in November. This year I made a 29 at 29 bucket list—29 things I want to do in my 29th year of life. So far I’ve done probably 15 of them, and there are a couple of things that are left, but the one big one that I really want to do is milk a cow. My goal is to find a dairy farm in the DMV within the next two months. Some of my completed bucket list items were writing letters to friends around the country, trying 10 new coffee shops in the DMV, and surprise visiting my dad on Father’s Day. But milk a cow is at the top of the list right now.
Hannah: Last question! Complete this sentence: When the Jews of DC gather…
Alana: You’re immediately in a home away from home.
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