Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work- both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Jennifer Rader, a 45 year old teacher, wife and mother. She began running for the first time ever just 22 months ago. She has been married 23 years. Fifteen of those years she was terribly overweight, with a BMI over 40.  With Weight Watchers and running, she has lost almost 70 lbs!

What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
The hardest thing I have ever done, physically and emotionally and mentally, was climb to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. I had attempted it 25 years ago, and was able to complete the exhausting hike, but could not get over my fear of heights to climb up the sub dome and up the cables. This year, my husband and I and 4 of our best friends made it, although it took us 16 hours to do the (typically) 10-12 hour hike.

How did you achieve it?
I trained by hiking our local mountain peaks, and with very active visualization techniques.  I knew the battle was far more a mental/emotional one than a physical one.
What motivates you to make the world a better place?
I am leaving this world to my children and their children, and I am motivated every day to do whatever I can to make sure it is a safe, healthy and positive place.
What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
I run 2-5 miles, 3-4 times a week.  Always training for my next event keeps me determined and motivated.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
In marriage and in life I think this is true:
Give without remembering and take without forgetting. 
Don’t keep score. The only thing I strive for every day is to be better than I was the day before. The only one I am competing with is myself.
What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
I love that corporate sponsors will donate for the miles I run, so as I get healthier and fitter, the charities I support will benefit.

Who do you exercise for, and why?
I exercise for myself, my husband, and my children. For them to watch me set goals and reach them, and do things I never would have dreamed of doing (half marathons, Ragnar Relays, and now soon a marathon) has caused me to earn my kids’ respect in a unique way.  I love overhearing them brag about me to their friends!

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