Cora Dennis (Brownsville Recreation Center)
My name is Cora Dennis and I was born Charleston, South Carolina. I was raised by my grandmother in small place called Moncks Corner in South Carolina. It was a farm area and I worked on the farm, picking cotton and farming vegetables. I came to New York when I was eighteen years old to work and go to school. I lived with an aunt, who had me to baby-sit for a couple years. So I worked a little bit and then I got pregnant at twenty-one and I had my son Antonio, who passed away some years ago.
When I got to New York I had to get my GED, and then I went to Medgar Evers College for 2 ½ years. After that I got a job in the garment district where I worked for eighteen years with eight designers for a company named Oxford. I got laid off around 1985, and then I went out to Wall Street as an administrative secretary. I worked there until my son got sick and I had to go back and forth to Atlanta to visit him. When he passed, I went through a very hard time. I was taking medications from being depressed. Eventually, I decided that I didn’t want to take all those medications, so I started coming to the gym and I started working out. Then when hurricane Sandy came I got caught up in the storm and lost practically everything. I went through a lot in my lifetime. I have a very good husband. My husband and I got married in 1999, and have been together for thirty-four years. Around the time we got married I started coming to the Brownsville gym and I met a lot of friends. Before the storm I was working out five days a week and I also played table tennis competitively. I’m very competitive, and I love it! I have a passion for it.
Just coming to the Brownsville Recreation Center every day, it really helped me a lot. I worked with a trainer named Eddie at Brownsville for about five years until the storm came, but I just lost so much that I didn’t have the money to keep working out with him. But I continue to work with weights. I also love running and dancing. I go to dance class three days a week at another venue. Being so active has made it so that I don’t have to take the medication I used to take. I do things now that I really love.