inspiring

Showing 23 posts tagged inspiring

Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work- both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Amber McAdoo, an inspiring athlete who recently completed her first Ironman Triathlon and has raised over $3,600 for charity!
What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
My greatest accomplishment as of late is creating my own website and being able to raise money for 4 non-profit organizations by completing the Ironman Triathlon in Florida on November 2nd. So far I have raised over $3,600 for four amazing non-profit organizations! One provides prosthetic limbs to those who lost theirs, one that provides rehabilitation to Florida’s wildlife, one that provides pregnant woman going through difficult situations with support, and one that provides veterinary assistance for family pets who will have to be put to sleep without the proper funds.
How did you achieve it?
I am achieving raising money and training by never giving up! A little less than a year ago I decided to create a website to raise money, share my personal story of loss/depression, and encourage others going through any kind of struggle that there is always HOPE. Raising money and training for an Ironman triathlon is a 24/7 commitment, countless hours and thousands of miles pushing myself/training, keeping faith, and doing my best to spread encouragement!
What motivates you to make the world a better place?
My motivation to make the world a better place is that I believe the heart of man is good, that we are all in this together, and that love WILL prevail. I want to leave this world knowing that I gave more than I took from it, and to ensure that our future generations and environment are being protected and cared for.
What do you do to stay healthy and fit? 
I stay healthy and fit by eating well, exercising 5-6 days a week, and keeping a positive attitude. I feel that my body is a tool that I can use to help others. The healthier I am, the more I can do for others and the environment, such as raising money by doing the Ironman. Some people are not as fortunate when it comes to their health, and I feel that to willingly throw away my health and ability to be active would be a slap in the face to those who would give anything just to be able to stand up and walk. I want to swim, bike, and run for those who cannot…and honor them my doing my best and giving my all.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
*Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.
“Never look down on someone unless you are helping them up.”  ~ Jesse Jackson
*One kind word can change someone’s entire day.
What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
My favorite aspect of using Charity Miles is just how easy it is!  I can turn on my phone and log a lot of miles training each week. To know that every mile I go is being used to help an organization is like a dream come true!  Why NOT do it?! 
Who do you exercise for, and why?
When I use the Charity Miles app, I exercise primarily for the Nature Conservancy because animals and nature are where my heart truly lies.  Nature gives life to us all, and my main goal in life is to protect it. The other reason I exercise is to complete the Ironman in a few weeks, and for the 4 non-profit organizations I am raising money for. They are my life right now, and I train every day for them! 
Read more amazing Spotlight On stories here! High-res

Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work- both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Amber McAdoo, an inspiring athlete who recently completed her first Ironman Triathlon and has raised over $3,600 for charity!

What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?

My greatest accomplishment as of late is creating my own website and being able to raise money for 4 non-profit organizations by completing the Ironman Triathlon in Florida on November 2nd. So far I have raised over $3,600 for four amazing non-profit organizations! One provides prosthetic limbs to those who lost theirs, one that provides rehabilitation to Florida’s wildlife, one that provides pregnant woman going through difficult situations with support, and one that provides veterinary assistance for family pets who will have to be put to sleep without the proper funds.

How did you achieve it?

I am achieving raising money and training by never giving up! A little less than a year ago I decided to create a website to raise money, share my personal story of loss/depression, and encourage others going through any kind of struggle that there is always HOPE. Raising money and training for an Ironman triathlon is a 24/7 commitment, countless hours and thousands of miles pushing myself/training, keeping faith, and doing my best to spread encouragement!

What motivates you to make the world a better place?

My motivation to make the world a better place is that I believe the heart of man is good, that we are all in this together, and that love WILL prevail. I want to leave this world knowing that I gave more than I took from it, and to ensure that our future generations and environment are being protected and cared for.

What do you do to stay healthy and fit?

I stay healthy and fit by eating well, exercising 5-6 days a week, and keeping a positive attitude. I feel that my body is a tool that I can use to help others. The healthier I am, the more I can do for others and the environment, such as raising money by doing the Ironman. Some people are not as fortunate when it comes to their health, and I feel that to willingly throw away my health and ability to be active would be a slap in the face to those who would give anything just to be able to stand up and walk. I want to swim, bike, and run for those who cannot…and honor them my doing my best and giving my all.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

*Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.

“Never look down on someone unless you are helping them up.”  ~ Jesse Jackson

*One kind word can change someone’s entire day.

What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?

My favorite aspect of using Charity Miles is just how easy it is!  I can turn on my phone and log a lot of miles training each week. To know that every mile I go is being used to help an organization is like a dream come true!  Why NOT do it?!

Who do you exercise for, and why?

When I use the Charity Miles app, I exercise primarily for the Nature Conservancy because animals and nature are where my heart truly lies.  Nature gives life to us all, and my main goal in life is to protect it. The other reason I exercise is to complete the Ironman in a few weeks, and for the 4 non-profit organizations I am raising money for. They are my life right now, and I train every day for them!

Read more amazing Spotlight On stories here!

Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Cindy Levin, an anti-poverty activist and mother of two. She has a personal mission to engage kids and stay at home parents  to stand up for global child survival. She is currently on staff with RESULTS, a coaching grassroots volunteers with fundraising activities.
What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
My return to long distance running in my 40’s and having my young daughters run with me. We all ran races for the 2013 Disney Princess 1/2 marathon weekend. I ran the 1/2 marathon, my 9 year old ran the 5K with me, and my 7 year old ran the 400 meter dash. We ran with Charity Miles and raised money for Shot@Life. We raised enough to vaccinate over 100 kids against polio, measles, rotavirus, and pneumococcal virus.
How did you achieve it?
It was exciting to train with my daughters and see their pride in setting physical goals and achieving them as a family. We trained in a Chicago winter for a Florida race, so it really took discipline. I inspired them by being a role model. They see it as normal to be active and fit. They inspired me because of the sheer joy they experience in running happily and swiftly… not the plodding along their mother does. 
What motivates you to make the world a better place?
I learned from my mother that we are called to serve and improve our community. As an adult, I’ve come consider the whole world to be our community. A brief scan of the news any day shows so much pain and suffering that it’s hard for me to comprehend.
That led me to become an activist to fight global hunger and poverty with RESULTS. Last October, I travelled to Uganda with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life Campaign to meet mothers in extreme poverty in person. Now, it is their faces and their stories that motivates me to take action every day. Who am I to sit idly by and not help when it takes so little? So, I act…whether that means sitting down with my senator to discuss U.S. funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria or strapping my iphone to my daughter’s arm so she can raise money with Charity Miles.
What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
I mostly run and walk, but also do some swimming. 
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Narrowing your focus to what you are passionate about makes you more effective. It’s completely true and I even follow that advice…sometimes.
Who do you exercise for, and why?
To be a better person. I know that’s pretty broad, but exercise improves almost every aspect of my life. I am a more patient mother, a sexier wife, a healthier self, a more focused employee, a more cheerful volunteer… the list can go on and on.
Read more amazing Spotlight On stories here! High-res

Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Cindy Levin, an anti-poverty activist and mother of two. She has a personal mission to engage kids and stay at home parents  to stand up for global child survival. She is currently on staff with RESULTS, a coaching grassroots volunteers with fundraising activities.

What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?

My return to long distance running in my 40’s and having my young daughters run with me. We all ran races for the 2013 Disney Princess 1/2 marathon weekend. I ran the 1/2 marathon, my 9 year old ran the 5K with me, and my 7 year old ran the 400 meter dash. We ran with Charity Miles and raised money for Shot@Life. We raised enough to vaccinate over 100 kids against polio, measles, rotavirus, and pneumococcal virus.

How did you achieve it?

It was exciting to train with my daughters and see their pride in setting physical goals and achieving them as a family. We trained in a Chicago winter for a Florida race, so it really took discipline. I inspired them by being a role model. They see it as normal to be active and fit. They inspired me because of the sheer joy they experience in running happily and swiftly… not the plodding along their mother does. 

What motivates you to make the world a better place?

I learned from my mother that we are called to serve and improve our community. As an adult, I’ve come consider the whole world to be our community. A brief scan of the news any day shows so much pain and suffering that it’s hard for me to comprehend.

That led me to become an activist to fight global hunger and poverty with RESULTS. Last October, I travelled to Uganda with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life Campaign to meet mothers in extreme poverty in person. Now, it is their faces and their stories that motivates me to take action every day. Who am I to sit idly by and not help when it takes so little? So, I act…whether that means sitting down with my senator to discuss U.S. funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria or strapping my iphone to my daughter’s arm so she can raise money with Charity Miles.

What do you do to stay healthy and fit?

I mostly run and walk, but also do some swimming. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Narrowing your focus to what you are passionate about makes you more effective. It’s completely true and I even follow that advice…sometimes.

Who do you exercise for, and why?

To be a better person. I know that’s pretty broad, but exercise improves almost every aspect of my life. I am a more patient mother, a sexier wife, a healthier self, a more focused employee, a more cheerful volunteer… the list can go on and on.

Read more amazing Spotlight On stories here!

usatoday:

This man ran 163 miles without sleeping to honor Boston Marathon victims.
A year ago, Adam Scully-Power was 50 pounds heavier and didn’t recognize himself in pictures. He couldn’t even run a 2-mile loop near his house without stopping.
Read through to learn about the journey — and his connection to the photo that showed Dzhokar Tsarnaev walking away from the scene: http://usat.ly/1abOngh

Simply amazing. High-res

usatoday:

This man ran 163 miles without sleeping to honor Boston Marathon victims.

A year ago, Adam Scully-Power was 50 pounds heavier and didn’t recognize himself in pictures. He couldn’t even run a 2-mile loop near his house without stopping.

Read through to learn about the journey — and his connection to the photo that showed Dzhokar Tsarnaev walking away from the scene: http://usat.ly/1abOngh

Simply amazing.

Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Brett Foley and David Chrisinger, both Rhinelander natives who write about Brett’s time in the Marine Corps.Here’s what they had to say:
What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?Brett said that he is proud that he has finished his degree and been accepted to the police academy. He thinks his greatest accomplishment will be landing a job as a law enforcement officer.
As for me, aside from landing a great job right out of graduate school and starting a family, I am proud of the fact that I played football in college (defensive lineman) and then used running and other endurance sports to lose more than 40 pounds. Since I finished college, I have finished 6 marathons, 1 50K, 1 half Ironman, and a number of shorter events in running, swimming, and triathlon.How did you achieve it?Brett said that after he was discharged from the military, he had a hard time readjusting to civilian life. What finally allowed him to move forward was realizing that he needed to set a goal and then work backward from that goal. So, for example, his main goal was to be a police officer. But to be a police officer, you need to have graduated from the police academy. And to get admitted to the police academy, it helps to have a degree in criminal justice as well as some security experience — in addition to military training. Once he had a path laid out for him, it became much easier for him to accomplish his goal.
I’m a bit more bookish in my approach. I knew that I would miss the competition after I was finished playing football. I also wanted to lose the weight I had gained. So I devoured every book I could find on running, triathlon, losing weight, etc. I also married a dietitian, which has made all the difference!
What motivates you to make the world a better place?Brett said that there is simply too much violence and hatred in the world. He’s seen both up close. He wants to be a police officer so that he can protect people and help prevent them having to go through what he has gone through.
I have found that when most veterans come home, they get a pat on the back and a sincere thank you, but that’s pretty much it. After the “honeymoon” phase wares off, many veterans feel misunderstood by a largely unsympathetic and oblivious country that is unwilling to share the moral responsibility for war. This troubles me. And it made me want to help Brett put his life back together—to shoulder part of his burden. And once he was able to put his life back together, I realized that he and I could help other veterans do the same. 
What do you do to stay healthy and fit?Brett and I both try to squeeze runs in multiple times per week, with a long run or two on the weekends. His police training keeps him pretty busy these days, but once that’s over, we’re going to focus on putting in some monster miles in preparation for our 50-mile race in October. In addition, I like to use swimming as a means of recovery. I also go on nightly bike rides or walks with my wife and 2-year-old son.What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?Brett said the best piece of advice he ever received was to keep working hard and good things will happen. As for me, it wasn’t given to me directly, but I have taped a quote on my refrigerator from Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run: “You’re tougher than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can.”What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?Like I wrote on our website: Not everyone can, or even wants to, run a 50-mile ultra marathon. But for those who are active and want to support veterans, Charity Miles lets you do both.
Who do you exercise for, and why?When I got out of college, I ran for myself. I ran to lose weight, and to get healthier. I found it hard, however, after a big race to maintain the desire to run. I would run a marathon, for example, and then sit on the couch for two months, gaining back much of the weight I had lost. Then my wife and I had a son. I would sign up for a race, but life would get in the way. Still, the embers continued to burn. Then Brett and I decided to do this race to help support The Mission Continues, a worthy nonprofit service organization that helps veterans find renewed strength and purpose through service in their communities. Suddenly, Brett and I weren’t running for ourselves anymore. We were running for others—for those who weren’t doing as well as Brett was. That change in motivation and purpose has made all the difference.
Read more amazing Spotlight On stories! High-res

Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Brett Foley and David Chrisinger, both Rhinelander natives who write about Brett’s time in the Marine Corps.

Here’s what they had to say:

What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
Brett said that he is proud that he has finished his degree and been accepted to the police academy. He thinks his greatest accomplishment will be landing a job as a law enforcement officer.

As for me, aside from landing a great job right out of graduate school and starting a family, I am proud of the fact that I played football in college (defensive lineman) and then used running and other endurance sports to lose more than 40 pounds. Since I finished college, I have finished 6 marathons, 1 50K, 1 half Ironman, and a number of shorter events in running, swimming, and triathlon.

How did you achieve it?
Brett said that after he was discharged from the military, he had a hard time readjusting to civilian life. What finally allowed him to move forward was realizing that he needed to set a goal and then work backward from that goal. So, for example, his main goal was to be a police officer. But to be a police officer, you need to have graduated from the police academy. And to get admitted to the police academy, it helps to have a degree in criminal justice as well as some security experience — in addition to military training. Once he had a path laid out for him, it became much easier for him to accomplish his goal.

I’m a bit more bookish in my approach. I knew that I would miss the competition after I was finished playing football. I also wanted to lose the weight I had gained. So I devoured every book I could find on running, triathlon, losing weight, etc. I also married a dietitian, which has made all the difference!

What motivates you to make the world a better place?
Brett said that there is simply too much violence and hatred in the world. He’s seen both up close. He wants to be a police officer so that he can protect people and help prevent them having to go through what he has gone through.

I have found that when most veterans come home, they get a pat on the back and a sincere thank you, but that’s pretty much it. After the “honeymoon” phase wares off, many veterans feel misunderstood by a largely unsympathetic and oblivious country that is unwilling to share the moral responsibility for war. This troubles me. And it made me want to help Brett put his life back together—to shoulder part of his burden. And once he was able to put his life back together, I realized that he and I could help other veterans do the same. 

What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
Brett and I both try to squeeze runs in multiple times per week, with a long run or two on the weekends. His police training keeps him pretty busy these days, but once that’s over, we’re going to focus on putting in some monster miles in preparation for our 50-mile race in October. In addition, I like to use swimming as a means of recovery. I also go on nightly bike rides or walks with my wife and 2-year-old son.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Brett said the best piece of advice he ever received was to keep working hard and good things will happen. As for me, it wasn’t given to me directly, but I have taped a quote on my refrigerator from Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run: “You’re tougher than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can.

What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
Like I wrote on our website: Not everyone can, or even wants to, run a 50-mile ultra marathon. But for those who are active and want to support veterans, Charity Miles lets you do both.

Who do you exercise for, and why?
When I got out of college, I ran for myself. I ran to lose weight, and to get healthier. I found it hard, however, after a big race to maintain the desire to run. I would run a marathon, for example, and then sit on the couch for two months, gaining back much of the weight I had lost. Then my wife and I had a son. I would sign up for a race, but life would get in the way. Still, the embers continued to burn. Then Brett and I decided to do this race to help support The Mission Continues, a worthy nonprofit service organization that helps veterans find renewed strength and purpose through service in their communities. Suddenly, Brett and I weren’t running for ourselves anymore. We were running for others—for those who weren’t doing as well as Brett was. That change in motivation and purpose has made all the difference.

Read more amazing Spotlight On stories!

Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Chris Fenton, a Team in Training activist (and employee) who dedicates every day to helping find a cure for blood cancer.Here’s what he had to say:What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?Making a significant career transition into the non-profit world. I have a fantastic job with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society leading their Team in Training Program nationally. I had been a volunteer for the LLS for over 11 years before joining the organization and now just feel blessed to have the opportunity to lead a fundraising campaign with such passionate volunteers and a deep, successful legacy.How did you achieve it?Although it meant leaving a profession/industry of 26 years, the willingness to follow my heart and join an organization that has allowed me for so many years to make a difference in people’s lives.What motivates you to make the world a better place?I derive my motivation from many close relatives and friends who have received the tragic diagnosis of a blood cancer. I know firsthand as a father what devastation these diagnoses can bring in a family’s life and I want to do all I can to drive towards better outcomes for these people.What do you do to stay healthy and fit?Run, yoga, spin, and some bike riding. I also work to watch what I eat and try to get plenty of rest.What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?Do unto others as you would have them do to you.What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?The opportunity to support the Mission of the LLS through routine exercise and to use it as a discussion piece to advance our Mission.Who do you exercise for, and why?Firstly, for myself. It is important to bring balance into my life, especially since most jobs I have had have required significant travel. Secondly, to set an example for my children so they see the importance of physical activity and taking care of oneself.
Read more amazing Spotlight On stories! High-res

Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Chris Fenton, a Team in Training activist (and employee) who dedicates every day to helping find a cure for blood cancer.

Here’s what he had to say:

What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
Making a significant career transition into the non-profit world. I have a fantastic job with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society leading their Team in Training Program nationally. I had been a volunteer for the LLS for over 11 years before joining the organization and now just feel blessed to have the opportunity to lead a fundraising campaign with such passionate volunteers and a deep, successful legacy.

How did you achieve it?
Although it meant leaving a profession/industry of 26 years, the willingness to follow my heart and join an organization that has allowed me for so many years to make a difference in people’s lives.

What motivates you to make the world a better place?
I derive my motivation from many close relatives and friends who have received the tragic diagnosis of a blood cancer. I know firsthand as a father what devastation these diagnoses can bring in a family’s life and I want to do all I can to drive towards better outcomes for these people.

What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
Run, yoga, spin, and some bike riding. I also work to watch what I eat and try to get plenty of rest.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
The opportunity to support the Mission of the LLS through routine exercise and to use it as a discussion piece to advance our Mission.

Who do you exercise for, and why?
Firstly, for myself. It is important to bring balance into my life, especially since most jobs I have had have required significant travel. Secondly, to set an example for my children so they see the importance of physical activity and taking care of oneself.

Read more amazing Spotlight On stories!

Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Monica Casarez, a woman who vowed to live a healthier life after losing both of her parents.
Here’s what she had to say:
What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?When you are a caregiver for an ill parent, you tend to not focus on your own health and well being. Shortly after my parents passed away, I decided to get a full check-up and was surprised to hear that I had high cholesterol. The doctor recommended that I make some changes to my lifestyle but warned me that I was probably genetically inclined to have high cholesterol and therefore would need to place me on medication. At that point, it was game on! I knew that I had full control over my health and therefore I began exercising and eating healthier. Next check up later and 24 pounds lighter, my doctor was very surprised to see that I had lowered my cholesterol levels to a point that did not require medication!  How did you achieve it?Diet, exercise, and most importantly a support system that cheers you along the way. My children, sister, and my boyfriend have been so supportive and share my passion for living a healthier lifestyle. My boyfriend and I love our Sunday runs, especially on San Antonio’s famed Riverwalk. My 8-year-old daughter competed in her first 1K run and my son has run alongside his mother and aunt in a 5k run benefiting his school district. 
What motivates you to make the world a better place?My family motivates me to help make this world a better place.  My parents believed in helping others in need and both my sister and I want to preserve their memory by helping whenever we can.  I also want to be a positive influence for my own children. What do you do to stay healthy and fit?Running is my passion! I run 4-5 days a week and like to challenge myself by taking my run outdoors. I prefer to run outdoors because I feel its more challenging than running on a treadmill and I can change my routine and scenery by just changing my path! I also have a personal mission to locate a great running spot at each city that I travel to.  My most recent run was at the White House park.  What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. This is true. I’ve been through some dramatic events in my life but have always walked away with an appreciation for life and the strength to carry on.  What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?I love that I’m contributing to a charity of my choice just by doing what I love.  It is such a great inspiration to run longer and harder.  I also enjoy receiving the tweets with great articles and spotlights on people who have the same passion for a healthier lifestyle and giving back to society.  Who do you exercise for, and why?I exercise for me and my family. I have never felt stronger, both physically and mentally. It’s a great feeling when your son says “Mom you’re strong!” I want to be an inspiration to my children and encourage them to give back to society and live full and healthy lives!
Read more amazing Spotlight On stories! High-res

Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Monica Casarez, a woman who vowed to live a healthier life after losing both of her parents.

Here’s what she had to say:

What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
When you are a caregiver for an ill parent, you tend to not focus on your own health and well being. Shortly after my parents passed away, I decided to get a full check-up and was surprised to hear that I had high cholesterol. The doctor recommended that I make some changes to my lifestyle but warned me that I was probably genetically inclined to have high cholesterol and therefore would need to place me on medication. At that point, it was game on! I knew that I had full control over my health and therefore I began exercising and eating healthier. Next check up later and 24 pounds lighter, my doctor was very surprised to see that I had lowered my cholesterol levels to a point that did not require medication! 

How did you achieve it?
Diet, exercise, and most importantly a support system that cheers you along the way. My children, sister, and my boyfriend have been so supportive and share my passion for living a healthier lifestyle. My boyfriend and I love our Sunday runs, especially on San Antonio’s famed Riverwalk. My 8-year-old daughter competed in her first 1K run and my son has run alongside his mother and aunt in a 5k run benefiting his school district. 

What motivates you to make the world a better place?
My family motivates me to help make this world a better place.  My parents believed in helping others in need and both my sister and I want to preserve their memory by helping whenever we can.  I also want to be a positive influence for my own children.

What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
Running is my passion! I run 4-5 days a week and like to challenge myself by taking my run outdoors. I prefer to run outdoors because I feel its more challenging than running on a treadmill and I can change my routine and scenery by just changing my path! I also have a personal mission to locate a great running spot at each city that I travel to.  My most recent run was at the White House park. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
What doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. This is true. I’ve been through some dramatic events in my life but have always walked away with an appreciation for life and the strength to carry on. 

What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
I love that I’m contributing to a charity of my choice just by doing what I love.  It is such a great inspiration to run longer and harder.  I also enjoy receiving the tweets with great articles and spotlights on people who have the same passion for a healthier lifestyle and giving back to society. 

Who do you exercise for, and why?
I exercise for me and my family. I have never felt stronger, both physically and mentally. It’s a great feeling when your son says “Mom you’re strong!” I want to be an inspiration to my children and encourage them to give back to society and live full and healthy lives!

Read more amazing Spotlight On stories!

You mention cancer to anyone on the street and they wince. Hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t affected by it. You mention the English Channel to that same person and, most likely, you won’t have to offer too much an explanation. With the ocean at my door, an A-team of coaches assembled, and an extensive swimming background, it seemed like the obvious choice. What I didn’t know then, however, were the many similarities between training for such an event and battling cancer. Taking a risk, committing to a plan, preparing for the unknown, knowing the possibilities, and using all your energy to fight for the best outcome. One doesn’t just wake up and swim the English Channel, and similarly, a cure for cancer doesn’t come overnight.

Alli DeFrancesco on her swim to raise funds for cancer
Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Grove Ayers, an active advocate for Parkinson’s disease, Boy Scout leader, and self proclaimed “beach bum, man for all seas” (as sang by Jimmy Buffet).Here’s what he had to say:What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?I’m just a normal 50-year-old guy. There’s not much that I’m proud of other than my children…but I do feel pretty good about my Charity Miles results so far.  In the first year, I’ve logged 935 miles — all for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. My highlight from last summer was logging over 50 miles during a Boy Scout ‘High Adventure’ trip in the River of No Return wilderness area in Idaho. My highlight this year has been a couple of weeks where I got in 40+ miles. My record week was just a few weeks ago — 78.89 miles! How did you achieve it? I try to get up and run early most mornings and then add a walk later during or after work, as my schedule allows. This month, I added biking to my Charity Miles routine, and I’m really enjoying that!What motivates you to make the world a better place? "A path is made by walking on it." Little gestures, little efforts all add up to make a bigger impact. I am inspired by so many of the Charity Miles stories. I see passionate people that often sacrifice so much to do good in the world. I see so many people that commit a little bit of time and energy and truly transform the world around them. I know I can’t hope to be as courageous as most of those folks, but I don’t think I’m unique when I say that, at the end of my life, I want people to say :"He was a good and decent man." We owe it to ourselves and our children to try to leave the world a little better than we found it.     What do you do to stay healthy and fit?I’ve always been pretty active. I’ve spent most of the last 25+ years on me feet. I try to workout 3-5 times a week, I really don’t eat fast food, I walk and/or run every day. My favorite time to exercise is at or before dawn.What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?After a really taxing run-in with a horribly unpleasant man, my friend and mentor, Al Riedmann said “You gotta feel sorry for a guy like that.” It was a life lesson. I learned to try to see things from a variety of perspectives. When we can do that, we end up with a greater capacity not only for understanding, compassion and love, but for humility. “Respond intelligently, even to unintelligent treatment,” said Lao Tzu. Think first, reserve judgement, then think again before speaking.What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?I don’t know that I can pick just one! Simple to use — just press, press, and GO! Impact-wise, the whole concept of donating without opening your wallet is perfect. As for social media integration, seamlessly helps those of us who want to evangelize about it. Who do you exercise for, and why?My Dad. In November of 2004, my father Sandy Ayers was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 71. When he called to tell me the news, I was stunned. All I knew about Parkinson’s was that it was a degenerative disease without a cure. My Dad was a very fit, active guy. His doctor at the time wanted to put him on the usual drugs right away. Dad’s position was “no drugs until I really need them, until this disease really impacts my life.”
Recently retired, my Dad made Parkinson’s his job.  He researched alternative therapies, consulting with leading research neurologists at OHSU in Portland. He participated in studies, tried Chinese folk remedies, had alternative drugs custom compounded for him, the works. At the same time, he became an active advocate, working with Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon and joining their board. He testified before Congress, he participated in galas and fundraising walks and support groups. He inspired me to get involved. I started learning about PD. I joined the Parkinson’s Action Network, writing letters and emails to members of Congress and the NIH. In 2011, about the same time Dad started taking PD drugs, I moved back to Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Last year I found the fledgling Coeur d’ Alene Parkinson’s Support Group here in town and joined up with them. After a short stint on the Board, I became the organizations president. We are actively engaged with the community now, offering classes and exercise sessions as well as the support group meetings. We are looking for move ways to serve the PD community in our area. In short, I am inspired to use Charity Miles to help fund PD research in honor of my (alive n’ kickin’) Dad who I love and admire.
Read more amazing Spotlight On stories! High-res

Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Grove Ayers, an active advocate for Parkinson’s disease, Boy Scout leader, and self proclaimed “beach bum, man for all seas” (as sang by Jimmy Buffet).

Here’s what he had to say:

What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
I’m just a normal 50-year-old guy. There’s not much that I’m proud of other than my children…but I do feel pretty good about my Charity Miles results so far.  In the first year, I’ve logged 935 miles — all for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. My highlight from last summer was logging over 50 miles during a Boy Scout ‘High Adventure’ trip in the River of No Return wilderness area in Idaho. My highlight this year has been a couple of weeks where I got in 40+ miles. My record week was just a few weeks ago — 78.89 miles!

How did you achieve it?
I try to get up and run early most mornings and then add a walk later during or after work, as my schedule allows. This month, I added biking to my Charity Miles routine, and I’m really enjoying that!

What motivates you to make the world a better place?
"A path is made by walking on it." Little gestures, little efforts all add up to make a bigger impact. I am inspired by so many of the Charity Miles stories. I see passionate people that often sacrifice so much to do good in the world. I see so many people that commit a little bit of time and energy and truly transform the world around them. I know I can’t hope to be as courageous as most of those folks, but I don’t think I’m unique when I say that, at the end of my life, I want people to say :"He was a good and decent man." We owe it to ourselves and our children to try to leave the world a little better than we found it.     

What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
I’ve always been pretty active. I’ve spent most of the last 25+ years on me feet. I try to workout 3-5 times a week, I really don’t eat fast food, I walk and/or run every day. My favorite time to exercise is at or before dawn.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
After a really taxing run-in with a horribly unpleasant man, my friend and mentor, Al Riedmann said “You gotta feel sorry for a guy like that.” It was a life lesson. I learned to try to see things from a variety of perspectives. When we can do that, we end up with a greater capacity not only for understanding, compassion and love, but for humility. “Respond intelligently, even to unintelligent treatment,” said Lao Tzu. Think first, reserve judgement, then think again before speaking.

What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
I don’t know that I can pick just one! Simple to use — just press, press, and GO! Impact-wise, the whole concept of donating without opening your wallet is perfect. As for social media integration, seamlessly helps those of us who want to evangelize about it.

Who do you exercise for, and why?
My Dad. In November of 2004, my father Sandy Ayers was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 71. When he called to tell me the news, I was stunned. All I knew about Parkinson’s was that it was a degenerative disease without a cure. My Dad was a very fit, active guy.
His doctor at the time wanted to put him on the usual drugs right away. Dad’s position was “no drugs until I really need them, until this disease really impacts my life.”

Recently retired, my Dad made Parkinson’s his job.  He researched alternative therapies, consulting with leading research neurologists at OHSU in Portland. He participated in studies, tried Chinese folk remedies, had alternative drugs custom compounded for him, the works. At the same time, he became an active advocate, working with Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon and joining their board. He testified before Congress, he participated in galas and fundraising walks and support groups. He inspired me to get involved. I started learning about PD. I joined the Parkinson’s Action Network, writing letters and emails to members of Congress and the NIH. In 2011, about the same time Dad started taking PD drugs, I moved back to Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho. Last year I found the fledgling Coeur d’ Alene Parkinson’s Support Group here in town and joined up with them. After a short stint on the Board, I became the organizations president. We are actively engaged with the community now, offering classes and exercise sessions as well as the support group meetings. We are looking for move ways to serve the PD community in our area. In short, I am inspired to use Charity Miles to help fund PD research in honor of my (alive n’ kickin’) Dad who I love and admire.

Read more amazing Spotlight On stories!

Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Tom White, a teacher of nearly 30 years and rock star cyclist who rides to work every day.
Here’s what he had to say:What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?The most difficult ride I’ve done lately was up to the top of Mt. Constitution. It’s the highest point in the San Juan Islands, which are in northwest Washington State. The ride starts at sea level and tops out at 2408 feet. The attached picture shows me up on the top. How did you achieve it?I just kept going. I didn’t want to go back to the hotel and have to tell my family that I “almost made it!” What motivates you to make the world a better place?A few years ago I was in Pakistan, speaking at an education conference. I met a man named Mohammad Ayub. He has been teaching underprivileged children in Islamabad for over ten years. He has no building, no supplies and no salary. He teaches in a park, on the ground. As a teacher and a parent, education is very important to me; meeting this man and seeing how he spends his life teaching street children in Pakistan has motivated me to do what I can to improve the world. He’s the reason why I always choose Pencils of Promise when I do Charity Miles. What do you do to stay healthy and fit?I ride my bike at least 50 miles every day. Sometimes it’s in the garage on a trainer, but usually it’s outside in the weather. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?Winston Churchill once said, “When you’re going through hell…keep going.” I use that when I’m on a tough ride. (Like Mt. Constitution!) What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?It lets me support a charity while doing something I already love doing. Who do you exercise for, and why?I exercise mostly for myself. As a teacher, I need time every day when I can reflect and turn inward. That’s what cycling does for me.
Read more amazing Spotlight On stories. High-res

Every day we like to shine a spotlight on people doing amazing work — both with Charity Miles and without. Today we’re featuring Tom White, a teacher of nearly 30 years and rock star cyclist who rides to work every day.

Here’s what he had to say:

What is your greatest accomplishment as of late?
The most difficult ride I’ve done lately was up to the top of Mt. Constitution. It’s the highest point in the San Juan Islands, which are in northwest Washington State. The ride starts at sea level and tops out at 2408 feet. The attached picture shows me up on the top.
 
How did you achieve it?
I just kept going. I didn’t want to go back to the hotel and have to tell my family that I “almost made it!”
 
What motivates you to make the world a better place?
A few years ago I was in Pakistan, speaking at an education conference. I met a man named Mohammad Ayub. He has been teaching underprivileged children in Islamabad for over ten years. He has no building, no supplies and no salary. He teaches in a park, on the ground. As a teacher and a parent, education is very important to me; meeting this man and seeing how he spends his life teaching street children in Pakistan has motivated me to do what I can to improve the world. He’s the reason why I always choose Pencils of Promise when I do Charity Miles.
 
What do you do to stay healthy and fit?
I ride my bike at least 50 miles every day. Sometimes it’s in the garage on a trainer, but usually it’s outside in the weather.
 
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Winston Churchill once said, “When you’re going through hell…keep going.” I use that when I’m on a tough ride. (Like Mt. Constitution!)
 
What’s your favorite aspect of using Charity Miles?
It lets me support a charity while doing something I already love doing.
 
Who do you exercise for, and why?
I exercise mostly for myself. As a teacher, I need time every day when I can reflect and turn inward. That’s what cycling does for me.

Read more amazing Spotlight On stories.