PLANO, Tx. - If you're watching the video, at first, you may think you're watching a sports apparel commercial -- but you're not! You're watching Jennifer Mayes in her element, getting ready for her second full marathon - six years after her first.
“Running has been life-changing and has really saved me in a lot of ways. I had a strength that I was never aware that I had.”
Jennifer says she’s lost more than 60 pounds!
"I was an overweight, depressed, unhappy teenager; it was a really difficult time for me […] Literally, if I can do it, anyone can do it! Anyone can do it. I was not; I couldn’t run a mile!"
But for Jennifer, it wasn’t just about the weight...
"I was lucky enough to find my husband, who loved me and motivated me because he knew what it would do for me physically, mentally, emotionally […] If I did not look thin or fit, I would run anyway for what it did on the inside.”’
She says his support was huge in taking those steps forward.
"He is just the most amazing husband, supporter, father. He loved me before I was running, he loved me before I had gotten fit."
And now, Jennifer is gaining support and facing her fears of running that second full, with an additional motivation -- raising money for a charity called Love Light and Melody - through the band Dispatch - which helps protect children in vulnerable situations in Nicaragua.
"There was this picture with this beautiful girl and this beautiful smile, and my daughter says to me, that she looked like a girl in her class. And it was one of those things that clicked with me, that she is a girl in her class, she is my daughter, she is all of these little girls […] I’m grateful for the opportunity to give back. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to have this motivation beyond myself.”
Well, you got everyone rooting for you - and lastly… run, Jen, run!
To support Jennifer and Love, Light and Melody click HERE.
*The video footage provided by Love Light + Melody was credited to Sam Ryan Films