This week’s Humana Health Star is Dona Wise, hailing from the Great State of Texas.  Donna is a mother, elementary school teacher and a runner! 

While she wasn’t always active, Donna caught the “bug” after a first humbling 5k.  She has since run over 40 5ks, 12 10ks and 13 half marathons!  WOW!

And, best of all, she’s a huge advocate for Charity Miles– helping to spread the word to her family, friends, students and community.  Thanks you very much, Donna!  Keep up the great work and enthusiasm!


Name: Donna Wise

Age: 42

City: Austin, TX

What’s your favorite way to stay active? I stay active by running, cycling and kick boxing. Although my favorite way to stay active is running 5ks, 10ks, half marathons and mud races!

What charities do you like to support with Charity MilesI choose to support ASPCA through Charity Miles. Charity Miles offers so many worth charities. There’s bound to be a charity that appeals to everyone.

What’s your greatest accomplishment– active or otherwise? My greatest fitness accomplishment is running my first half marathon at the Rock n’ Roll San Antonio in November of 2010. Since that time, I have completed 16 half marathons. [Editor’s note: WOW!!!!]

What/who inspires you to stay healthy/make a difference? My fitness and healthy lifestyle inspiration comes from living a “not so healthy” life in my younger years. As a young adult, I was forced to make lifestyle changes and have been much happier and healthier ever since. I’m in better shape in my 40’s than I was in my 20’s!

Where is your favorite place to walk, run or bike? I’m very lucky to live in a city where there are a variety of places to run. While I enjoy running when on vacation and seeing different sights, I really enjoy my local county park’s trail system. Our park trail is approximately 7 miles from end to end, so I have opportunities to run as far as 14 miles or turn around at various other mileage points.

Where is one place you’d most like to walk, run or bike? I have read (and dreamt) about many destination races around the world and I would love to run in Hawaii because of the natural beauty. Additionally, I would love to run the New York City Marathon simply because it is the quintessential “runner’s race”. It is a definite on my bucket list.

Do you have any tips for others on how to take steps towards improving their well-being? I have a saying that I placed above my bib and medal display rack that says, “Proof that one can change your life.” This is really true to me because unlike many runners, I never ran anywhere or anything in my life. My love for running started with one step, that turned into a few steps, then a mile and so on. I truly believe that you can achieve your goals as long as you take it one step a time, set reasonable goals and never give up.

Are there any recipes on the Humana Pinterest board you’d like to try? Bell Pepper Turkey Nachos! Who doesn’t love a healthier version of tailgating food. Especially heading into football season.

What is the best health advice you ever received? Everything in moderation! I truly believe that whether it is related to exercise or eating healthy, moderation is the key. For me it’s not reasonable to think I will “never” eat bread, pasta, sugar, fats or any other food. I think when people limit themselves too much it creates the need to “cheat” and when we “cheat” we often trick ourselves into thinking we can’t achieve our fitness or nutrition goals. I try to make thoughtful food choices.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself in your own words? I have been utilizing Charity Miles since February, 2013 after discovering it through word of mouth from a fellow runner. I am very interested in helping to get the word out to other athletes. 

I am a 42 year-old mother, elementary school teacher and runner.  I am not an elite runner. However, I consider myself a “competitive” runner, racing against myself, setting PRs and running year round. 

I am relatively new to running, starting in 2009.  In 2009, friends invited me to run my first 5k, the Susan G. Komen, Race for the Cure.  Knowing it was for a good cause, I agreed. Having never run any race, not to mention never run more than around the block in my neighborhood, I work out and thought, “How hard can this be?” Well, it was hard! I didn’t get to the one mile marker without needing to walk.  Finishing the 5k, disappointed in myself, with tears in my eyes, I got the bug and was determined to become a runner. Since that disappointing first run, I have completed over 40 5ks, 12 10ks and 13 half marathons.  I have traveled to races in San Antonio, Dallas and as far as Las Vegas to run.

I have shared my love of running with friends, neighbors and students. I have logged well over 1,000 Charity Miles in the last two years. I have spread the word about Charity Miles and will continue to help spread the word that gives back to the community.

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