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Teacher wants to exercise more, go back to school

By Elizabeth Landau
CNN
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(CNN) -- Barbara Rademacher of Rogers, Arkansas, has found that she loves to document events on camera. Now, she's turning the camera around and focusing on improving herself for 2009.

This year, Barbara Rademacher plans to exercise more and drink more water.

This year, Barbara Rademacher plans to exercise more and drink more water.

Among her goals are exercising more, drinking more water, and going back to school.

CNN recently asked viewers to talk about their New Year's resolutions on iReport.com and to upload photos and videos during their journeys of change.

Rademacher has already sent in updates. iReport.com: See her big changes for 2009

Rademacher, 57, used to be a jogger, but about 20 years ago, while running, she fell and cracked both of her knees. Her knees still hurt when she tries to run, or on cold days, and arthritis adds to the burden, she said.

Today, she'll run sometimes when her dogs insist, and she uses knee braces to help with the pain. But generally she's exercised less and less in the past two years.

"I just felt better when I was working out regularly," she said.

She considers herself just slightly overweight, and might want to lose about 10 pounds, she said. But she wants to exercise more to feel better physically, she said.

She's also thinking about getting an advanced degree in education this year.

Rademacher teaches algebra at Northwest Arkansas Community College. She said she likes helping people see the connection between different facts and discover patterns.

"I teach a lot of people who say, 'Oh, I was never good at math,' and to see them change their definition of themselves, that's worth it," she said. "That's worth the whole thing, when somebody changes their attitude towards math."

Rademacher, who lives with her four dogs and three cats, was already making small changes to start her goals as soon as the new year began. She created a calendar to keep track of positive change activities, such as drinking more water daily. iReport.com: How Rademacher keeps track of progress

Her favorite hobby is contributing videos to iReport.com. Before discovering citizen journalism, she was a less active person, simply going to school to teach and then coming home, she said.

Hooked on the iReport concept, she bought a $500 camcorder and lots of accessories, including a lapel microphone.

She recently filmed an Inauguration Day party at a local pizza bar and volunteer events for Martin Luther King Day. She also interviewed a couple who built a home from old vehicle tires and hay. iReport.com: Watch Rademacher's video about sustainable living

When temperatures plummeted in northwest Arkansas last week, Rademacher was on the scene, filming a snow-covered neighborhood. iReport.com: Watch her coverage of chilly weather

"My life has become so much more exciting since I started doing that, and I'm doing so many things that I never would have done since I became an iReporter," she said. "I'm out and around the community, and I never did that before."

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