This active alumna has raced through life, devoted to health, fitness and adventure – all loves she has passed along to her two children.
by Donna Parker
Kirby Oliver Adams, who received a degree in broadcast journalism from Trinity in 1981, already has packed several lifetimes into one as she races to meet all of her goals, focused on empowering others to take charge of their health. As host of The Art of Healthy Living, a live radio show, she also produces health videos for kids, yet still finds time to run marathons, travel, and kayak the Ohio River near her old Kentucky home.
"When I moved here from my television job in Seattle, I reported on health issues for the ABC station. After TV, it was a natural progression to shooting health and fitness videos which aim to get kids healthier," says Kirby.
"The show is an extension of my devotion to fitness and nutrition. I'm also a working mother of two and understand how difficult it is to ensure your kids grow up fit and healthy."
Kirby's daughters have inherited her love for adventure. Elliott, just 14 years old, spent last summer as a student ambassador in Australia. Jordan, who's 12, loves to kayak, and her husband, John Grantz, is just back from a mission trip to Belize, so their kids come by it honestly.
"My college graduation gift from my father was a two-week trip hopping box cars with a hobo named Jack," laughs Kirby. "We traveled the country experiencing a truly unique way of life."
Along the way, she learned a little about human nature. When filthy dirty from weeks on the trains, she washed up in a Denver bus station and was shunned by people afraid to come near her. She wanted to shout, "I'm a college graduate!"
"This was my reality check," says Kirby, "after a divine time at Trinity."
Heavy into intramurals as a student, Kirby says she was blessed to study with. Manfred Wolfram, department of communication. "He taught us how to be creative and that's what makes anyone stand out in their chosen field."
"My astronomy professor was the greatest, too," she says enthusiastically. "He directed us to the realization that there is a force out there bigger than any of us."
After graduation, Kirby worked for PM Magazine at KSAT TV and traveled the world producing a magazine-style show that was hip and fun.
She also started racing bicycles, practicing daily and earning a spot to compete in the Olympic Trials in Spokane. She won a San Antonio marathon and was Texas State Champion Triathlete of the Year, proving she definitely practices what she preaches.
Two more news positions in Seattle and Louisville prefaced her entrepreneurial career, although she continues to actively compete and has trained 1,500 novice athletes to race half-marathons during Kentucky Derby festivals.
"I am happy to report both of my daughters play tennis, thanks to my love of the game that developed while I was a Trinity student."
Describing herself as "enthusiastic and zesty," Kirby's next challenge is to conduct oral history interviews with her family to compile as a legacy for her children. She's also pondering writing a book about her "hobo days."
"It is one of my most incredible experiences and one I'd really like to share."
You may contact Kirby at Kirbyadamslouisville [at] gmail.com.