1 of 6 Chris Militscher
Banker, wife and mother, runner, former dancer; Winston-Salem, North Carolina
On being the Chosen One: “I’ve had mixed emotions about this whole thing. I lost my 18-year-old son Brenton in a car accident last May. My grief counselor has called this Essence opportunity a ‘commercial break’ from all the sadness. My sister-in-law Joan believes this was a gift from Brenton. She says, ‘He wants the world to know how beautiful you are.’ ”
2 of 6 Courtesy of Jo Ayn Stovall
Age-defying secrets: “I run more than three miles, three times a week, and 7 to 14 miles every weekend. I’m fortunate to be able to run on my lunch break, with friends at work. My husband joins us on the weekends. In 2008 we [the running group] plan to run a marathon. I’m running in honor of Brenton, and of my turning 50.”
3 of 6 Courtesy of Jo Ayn Stovall
4 of 6 Courtesy of Jo Ayn Stovall
“Running tones your whole body, and it’s very cathartic,” she says. When Stovall started running, she couldn’t complete a mile. Now she runs about 20 miles a week.
5 of 6 Courtesy of Jo Ayn Stovall
“I met my husband in the second grade. We still have the letters that say `I like you. Do you like me?’ My husband and I don’t fight, life is just too short.”
6 of 6 Courtesy of Jo Ayn Stovall
“When we [work running group] run we talk about all of life’s issues, we get our stress out during this tri-weekly lunchtime break. “The support system we have is phenomenal. The morning it [my son’s fatal car accident] hit the news, they [running group] were right there at my door.”
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