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American Rescue Worker’s Members of the Month:  Quentin and Jocelyn

Quentin and Jocelyn

Quentin L. joined Back on My Feet as a residential member in March 2011 and has more than 90 miles under his belt. He says his biggest challenge while running is finishing, but he had no problem finishing his leg of the Baltimore Running Festival Relay, which he accomplished in a quick 49 minutes. His advice for new runners is to “be determined!” Quentin likes to refuel after a race with bananas, and his next race with Back on My Feet will be the Tuerk House 5k on November 5th. Good luck Quentin!

Jocelyn S. joined Back on My Feet as a non-residential member in August and says her favorite moment so far was her first run “because everyone was so welcoming.” She jokes that her biggest challenge while running is “keeping my tonails” as well as making it up hills at the end of a long run. While running, she thinks about the finish line and how happy she will be to cross it again. Jocelyn’s goal for the next three months is to finish the Annapolis Half Marathon on November 19th in 1:55. Her next race with BOMF will be the Zoo Zoom the next day on November 20th.

Team Helping Up Mission’s Members of the Month: Eric and Phil

Eric L.

Eric L. joined the team as a residential member in April 2011 and has since logged more than 127 miles. He says his best memory is “the Baltimore Running Festival! It was great having the big group out there and the positive energy from all the Back on My Feet participants was amazing!” Eric says his biggest challenge while running is getting out of his head (you’re not alone there, Eric! Such a common runner challenge!), and his goal for the next three months is to stay focused and keep the enthusiasm. While running, Eric often thinks about how he can use his experience to help others.

“I first met Eric in the group circle as he attached the adjective ‘Effervescent’ to his first name,” says Lauren Shimek, THUMB teammate. “I quickly discovered an enthusiastic running buddy who is passionate about life, learning, and self-betterment. We’ve logged many early morning miles together, and I’ve watched Eric progress over time from a Seed of Hope to a Graduate of the Helping Up Mission. He has worked through a challenging year of recovery with steadfast dedication and the courage to share his personal experiences with others. I am so proud of Eric and look forward to seeing him as a role model for others.”

Eric’s next race will be the Tuerk House 5k on November 5th.  His advice for a brand new runner? “Never give up and you’ll get stronger every day.”

Phil Strikes a Pose

Phil B. joined Team Helping Up Mission as a non-residential member in January 2011, and his best moments include “training with Nicko and watching Mike Bennett’s flowing locks blow in the wind.” While running, Phil often thinks about what’s for breakfast, as well as whom he will connect with that day. His next race with Back on My Feet will likely be the Celtic Solstice in December.

“Phil has been a great addition to our team,” says Rob Carfango, team leader. “He has a fun and relaxed attitude and gets along with everyone. He likes to joke around with his teammates and he has gone out of his way to run with many different people since joining the team. He comes out early to help support our teammates for longer runs and varies his pace to meet the needs of others. He is a true team player and I appreciate all that he does for our team!”

Team Christopher’s Place Member of the Month: Amy

Amy N.

Amy N. has been a non residential member since the very beginning of Team Christopher’s Place! She says that seeing her teammates along the course and on the sidelines cheering during her recent half marathon run at the Baltimore Running Festival is her best moment so far: “I never could have done it without my team!”

While running, she thinks about the hills she has to climb, but when asked what she would tell someone who is considering joining Back on My Feet, she says, “Just do it! 5:30 a.m. never looked so good. I promise you, you won’t regret it. Meredith Tyler from THUMB gave me that same advice two years ago when I was afraid of how early we ran. She was right!”

Amy’s next race with Back on My Feet will be the Tuerk House 5k. Her advice for a brand new runner is to “pace yourself and don’t start too quickly. Try to find someone who runs at your pace.”

Fun fact about Amy: She studied and worked in Thailand for four years and can speak Thai. But her favorite post-race meal is a good old American breakfast of eggs and toast.

MCVET’s Members of the Month: Kevin and Dave

Kevin R.

Kevin R.’s best moment to date with Back on my Feet was finished the Baltimore Running Festival 5k. “The amount of people lining the streets and cheering was unbelievable,” he says.

Kevin notes that his biggest challenge in running is hills. “There are a lot of hills in Baltimore.” (You got that right, Kevin!) While running, he thinks about distance: “How far I’m going, how far along I am, and how many miles I’ve run.”

Says Peter, MCVET’s team leader: “Kevin was one of the original members of Team MCVET when the Baltimore chapter launched in March of ’09 and it’s been great getting to know and run with him ever since. Although rarely one for many words, Kevin quietly demonstrates his commitment to his own self-improvement each and every day by the way he goes about taking on his responsibilities, whether it’s coming out every morning, working a long day of carwash at MCVET, or pursuing his welding training. Despite the unassuming fashion with which he goes about his business, Kevin’s progress has not gone unnoticed by his teammates who have taken note of his ever improving outlook and hard work.”

Dave W.

Dave W. joined the MCVET team as a non-residential member on February 14, 2011. His best moment so far was running the MCVET 5k: “I came in thinking about myself and what times I would run.  However when talking to another non-res (Jenn) about running times, she reminded me that it wasn’t about times, it was about being part of the team.  Just then Wayne came up to me and asked to run together with him. We had such a fantastic time talking, laughing, and complaining the whole way that I couldn’t tell you what our times were. At that moment I knew I was part of a true Team and that has stuck with me to this day.”

When asked what his biggest challenge has been, Dave says, “Day 3 when I couldn’t finish 2 miles?  No, actually running the Baltimore Running Festival half marathon.  It was actually two challenges. The first was the actual run and the second was running as a FundRunner for Back on My Feet. I had never asked anyone for money before, but as a FundRunner, I asked friends, family, and colleagues to sponsor me. I had no idea how that would play out.  The other issue is that I have problems with stiffness in my legs (one of the reasons I started running again oddly enough) and I didn’t know how I would do running 13 miles. Well I exceeded my fundraising goals and completed the half (though I would like to forget about miles 10 and 11).” Dave’s next race will be the Tuerk 5k.

Says Peter, MCVET’s team leader: “When Dave first started running with MCVET, he told me that the last time he had gone for a run was six years prior in a half marathon in Alaska and that he was wearing the same shoes that he had during that race. I think he started off with a mile that day and his return to running was gradual, but each day he came out to put in his miles with the team. As the month went on, his miles increased as did the relationships he was building with his new teammates. This past month, Dave returned to the 13.1 mile distance, finishing the half at the BRF and has grown into a true friend and example for his teammates, helping several of our residential members through their own training. He’s become not just a runner on his own again, but a teammate, mentor, and friend for all of us at Team MCVET.”

Congratulations to all our Members of the Month!

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