Posts Tagged Back on my Feet Baltimore

Residential Member of the Month: Terrence Robinson
He’s Moving Up!

Terrence with Melissa and Jenn

Terrence R. is on a roll! Terrence has been a strong presence with team MCVET since he joined in April 2012 and has been serving as team captain since August. After excelling in his HVAC certifications this past Fall while managing responsibilities as Vet Guard (all while maintaining over 98% attendance with BoMF), Terrence was appointed to staff at MCVET and will transition to BoMF alumni status. Terrence is incredibly driven and brings so much to his team. We are so lucky to have Terrence among the circle and look forward to supporting him in these exciting milestones ahead.

Terrence was also featured this month!  Read more about Terrence here.

Non-Residential Member of the Month: John Ware
Man, Those are Some Cool Shorts!

John Ware with Shannon and Georgeanne

John W. has been running with Team MCVET since 2009 and now sits on the BoMF Advisory Board. Weekday runs, races and socials alike, John is there in support and often sporting one of his many pairs of snappy monogram shorts! In addition to his own contributions to the team John must also be noted for his solid recruiting of two additional cherished BoMFers – his wonderful wife Shannon and their newest addition “mini-MCVETer” Georgeanne.

Terrence on ice

Terrence Robinson has served as the Team Captain of the MCVET team ever since his teammates nominated him last August. Although Terrence’s work and school responsibilities sometimes prevent him from running with the BoMF team in the morning, he usually takes the time to circle up with his teammates for a few minutes before they start running. On these days, he playfully reports his distance as 0.1 miles – the distance from MCVET to the BoMF circle that gathers across the street.

When Terrence is out, he coaxes his fellow runners up hills and distracts them with carefree banter about his adolescent son who runs track. He consistently encourages his teammates, which he appreciated during his first race: the MCVET 5k last May. The former MCVET Team Leader paced Terrence during the race, yet Terrence knew the Team Leader could have easily outrun him. The dedication and camaraderie this action displayed struck Terrence and enabled him to realize that BoMF is about supporting others as they move their lives forward from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

Terrence is pleased with the ways his accomplishments are leading him toward self-sufficiency, especially his recent promotion toSecurity Staff at MCVET. While his new position still requires him to log his activities like a Vet Guard, he will now report to the Chief of Security and be solely responsible for the safety of every person in the building during his shift. This means that Terrence will be responsible for remedying emergency situations and for resolving conflicts that arise between MCVET residents.

Soon, Terrence plans to move into Single Room Occupancy (SRO), the final phase of the recovery program at MCVET. He happily says that this move “will allow me the good fortune of becoming an alumni of BoMF.” He’s also considering running the Nikia Half Marathon or joining a relay team in April. He says it depends on his schedule and ability to fit in training with his responsibilities for his recovery, school, and work. By August, Terrence plans to add 18 months clean and sober to his list of accomplishments and to complete the Commercial Industrial Maintenance Program at North American Trade. Looking more long-term, Terrence hopes to buy a home and send his son to college once he graduates in 2016. He believes that his ultimate goal of reintegrating into his family and community is well within his reach.

As he moves his life forward, Terrence hopes to give back and help others do the same through volunteering or sharing his story from addiction and homelessness to self-sufficiency in order to inspire others. Terrence says BoMF and MCVET have “plac[ed] me in position to take advantage of opportunities that I would have not been able to access otherwise…Skills to Succeed, financial assistance, credit counseling, and the renewing of my mind as well as my body.” The job preparation, job training, and financial literacy skills Terrence has learned, along with the support from his teammates, will help enable Terrence to accomplish his goals.

Back on My Feet Baltimore has been a BUSY chapter the month of September. Marathon and half marathon training has been going great with both sets of people having done some of the longest runs they will have to do leading up to the races. This coming weekend is the Marion House 5K with lots of resident and non-resident member involvement. Hopefully some wins will be brought home by BoMFers. This month was also the wedding of Jackie and Patrick! They hosted an AMAZING post run reception the morning of their wedding. It was great seeing their friends and family come and circle up that Saturday morning and joining the rest of Back on My Feet in wishing Jackie and Patrick an amazing wedding day.

Team CP has had a chance to really gel this month. No new members were taken on, but the team has expanded with some great new non-res involvement. The team captain Arnell has been working at the Giant market at Old Court and Reisterstown Road now for two months. In his two months he’s received an acknowledgement by a difficult customer and he was named Employee of the Month! Way to go Arnell! Social Coordinator Ben is stepping down due to taking some graduate classes, but Caitlyn, our 6K/30Day coordinator has enthusiastically stepped into the role. She’s come up with an amazing idea for our team’s video for the BRF pasta party. It will be awesome J. The race this past month was the Sneaks Come out At Night and there were plenty of CP members in attendance. Jerome ran an amazing 15K and won his age group. Carolyn and Jeanne (MJ) also won their age groups! It was great having ice cream and popsicles at the end. This month we got to cheer on the O’s on their path to the play-offs. We had four resident members, an alumnus, and lots of non-residents all came to cheer on the O’s!

Team SoBo said good-bye to Sarah, the former team leader. But no worries, she’s now working for BoMF in Chicago! Jared R is now helping Doug with making sure Team SoBo is better than ever. In resident news, Rafael and Tim were both welcomed to the team. George, a resident and now soon to be alumni, has moved out into his own housing, but is still close and comes out to run. Joseph ran his first four miler and said he was “too blessed to be stressed”. Roderick completed the 15K at the Sneaks Come Out at Night race, which convinced him to give a shot at the Baltimore full marathon. He has also started school on a track in respiratory therapy. While many members spent their summers racing and completing triathlon events, Carrie and Kevin tied the knot! Congratulations to them!

Team Helping Up Mission is welcoming the cooler weather in September along with two new resident members, Matt P and Mike W! With the cooler weather, many of the teammates are working hard at getting ready for BRF with participation in the 5K, relay, half marathon, and the full marathon. September 12th brought the O’s game with several teammates that went to Camden Yards. There were about 20 THUMB members in attendance and everyone had a GREAT time. This month is closing out soon with the Marian House 5K and a team BBQ.

Team MCVET has been busy.  Tony White ran his first 5k at the Marian House 5K while alumni member Greg took first place in his age group. Several nonres members medaled as well including Mitch and Mara. Ace started a new job working security at Harris Teeter in Federal Hill. Nonres Meg Harnett completed her first 100 miler at the Bear 100 Miler in Utah.  The entire team is looking forward to the BRF next month as many members will participate in the 5k, relay, half-marathon, and marathon.

Christopher’s Place Members of the Month: Michael B. and Kieran S.

Michael B. has been running with Back on My Feet since July and has run over 50 miles.  He said his best moment since joining Back on My Feet was being awarded the Member of the Month.  His goal with the team is to “run more than I have ever run before and one day to run in a marathon.”  When he’s running, Michael says, “The early morning air and warm smiles help me to keep a positive outlook on my future.”  His next race will be the Baltimore Running Festival 5k.

Jordyn Manucci, Team Leader, says, “Michael has been all in since day one. He has committed to the team by volunteering to get the water every morning for us all. He has committed to the community by helping the 6th branch with the Oliver neighborhood clean up. CP is lucky to have Michael on the team!”

Kieran S. started running with Team Christopher’s Place in August 2011.  He says that his best moments with Back on My Feet included run throughout last winter: a first for him since he started running. When he’s running, he says he thinks about “complicated multiplication problems (like 543×923). It stimulates the brain and kills time.”  During the Baltimore Half Marathon, his next race, he’ll certainly have plenty of time to think through several of these problems.

Team Leader Jordyn Manucci says, “Kieran brings a bit of quirky to the team. His shoes are definitely a talking point, and once you can get him started, he’s more than willing to talk to you about anything especially the crazy races he does!”

Helping Up Members of the Month: Tim R. and Meredith E.

Tim R. has run over 250 miles since running with Back on My Feet.  He says he most enjoys circling up on Saturday mornings, especially on the morning of Wipeout. He says his biggest challenge is talking with his teammates because he’s such a quiet person. His goal for the next three months is to get a job.  His next race will be the Tuerk House 5k in November.

Team Leader Rob Carfagno says, ʺTim has been a great addition to our team. As he has admitted, he is a quiet guy, but when you get out running with him, you wouldn’t know it; he is a great person to run with and talk to! Tim is a strong runner and is always pushing himself. He likes to run long miles on Saturday mornings and his weekday runs are usually pretty quick. Tim is very thoughtful and friendly and always positive and encouraging of those around him.ʺ

Meredith E. has been running with Back on My Feet since January 2011. Her favorite moment since joining Back on My Feet: “There are too many awesome moments to capture but watching the guys confidence build over time and seeing them make strides to improve their lives is a big one and it’s what BoMF is all about. We’ve had many guys take that next step either moving out on their own, getting a job, going back to school, hitting their 1, 2, or 3+ years of sobriety and even all of the above. Running with Blue for his first race (Celtic Solstice 5 miler), 5 Mile Schmedium Challenge with Mikey B and Misha, 5:30am THUMB dance party, Wipeout (1st place baby!!), and 4am runs with Tuck, are memorable for me as well. The list is endless.” With several ultra-marathon races under her belt, her next race, the Baltimore Marathon, should be a piece of cake!

Rob Carfagno, Team Leader, says, ʺMeredith is an amazing teammate and friend! She is the true essence of Back on My Feet. She has gone way above and beyond in everything she does for the team and has done such much to help so many on our team. She is a great Team Organizer, always staying in touch with each of the guys on our team and encouraging them and pushing them to do more. She has great energy and spirit that everyone feeds off in the mornings. She is very dedicated and there are so many things that she does behind the scenes that most people don’t even realize. THUMB is very lucky to have her on our team and personally I don’t know what I would do without her!”

MCVET Members of the Month: Tony W. and Dave L.

Tony W. has run 65 miles since joining the team in May.  He says there have been so many good moments since joining Back on My Feet that it’s hard to pick just on as his favorite, but if he had to choose one, “I think the Team BBQ might be at the top of the list, the mango sorbet was perfect and it was good catching up with everyone outside of the regular run.” While he has experienced some problems with foot and back issues, he’s been patient and will next race at the Marion House 5k.

Teammate Abby Ferretti says, ʺTony has become such a strong leader within the team. Where he is a man of few words (at 5:30 in the morning) his presence speaks volumes. Despite the demands of his role as Platoon Leader at MCVET, Tony has still maintained consistency in his running, continuing to challenge himself with longer distances and faster running partners.ʺ

Dave L. started running with MCVET in March.  When he’s running, he’s thinking “I should probably slow down, Ross and Mitchie are back there somewhere.” One of his favorite Back on My Feet moments include “making fun of Ace (good-naturedly) for looking fresh and clean on his way to a job interview (and subsequently hearing that he got the job).” He’ll be out running the 3rd leg of the relay at the Baltimore Running Festival with other Back on My Feet teammates.

Teammate Abby Ferretti says, ʺWe’re honored to have Dave Landymore as part of Team MCVET. As a former Marine, who now serves as the Executive Director of the 6th Branch, Dave implements his veteran skillset on a day to day to basis in executing community service initiatives. This dedication to others serves as a great model for our res and nonres members alike and through his relationship with BoMF, our organizations have been able to partner on a number of events helping out in the Oliver neighborhood. As Dave’s running progresses, we wish him all the best as he prepares to tackle his next challenge at the Marine Corps Marathon!ʺ

Helping Up Mission’s Members of the Month: Ryan and Michelle


Ryan T. joined Back on My Feet and Team Helping Up in February 2012.   Since then, he has completed over 170 miles.  Out of all those miles, he enjoyed completing the Maryland Half Marathon with the team.  When he runs, he says he simply focuses on finishing that run.  Ryan says he struggles to keep his breathing in line when he runs.  His next race is the Baltimore 10 Miler which will be nice training for his first full marathon in November.

Helping Up Team Leader Rob says, “Ryan has been a welcomed addition to our team. He was quiet when he first started running with Back on My Feet, but now that he has become comfortable with the group you can always find him in the middle of our crew making his teammates laugh! He never takes himself too seriously and enjoys giving me a hard time every chance he gets! He always makes me laugh and was one of the inspirations for our first ever 5:30am HUM dance party! He’s already run 2 half marathons and has some big running goals for this year. I’m excited to see how far he will go!”

Michelle H. joined Back on My Feet in October 2010 and has had many awesome memories since joining.  She says her best memory came last Thanksgiving when everyone shared something for which they were thankful.  Michelle says she was inspired by the responses and is thankful for her team.  When she runs, she usually spends her time catching up with her teammates, but if she is racing she uses the alone time to thank God for giving her the ability to run or ask for assistance in the race.  Her next race with Back on My Feet is the Baltimore 10 Miler, but she says she will serve as a cheerleader for the races between now and then.

Rob says, “Michelle has been a great teammate from the time she joined our team. She’s consistent with her attendance and is a steady figure on the team. At the Nikia Half marathon she joined a relay team that needed one more person so that she could support two of our teammates and her enthusiasm and support were fantastic. I always enjoy seeing Michelle at our runs and the positive, supportive attitude she always brings!”

MCVET’s Members of the Month: Terrance and Sue

“Steady, committed, determined.” is the way MCVET’s Team Leader Peter describes Terrance R.   “Terrance shares his warm disposition with whomever is fortunate enough to share their run with him each and every morning. He’s been such a great addition to the team and we’re all really excited for him to run his first race with the team at the MCVET 5k over Memorial Day Weekend!”

Peter says, “Sue H. has been unbelievable addition to Team MCVET this past year. She’s been quick to offer her help and support to all of her teammates, whether it’s been by helping an alum prepare for the Marine Corps Marathon, volunteer at teammate’s community service events, lending a certain team leader interested in Chi running a book on the subject, or just being someone to share a great conversation with during a morning run. Not only has Sue been there to be a pillar of our team, but her family has become a welcome presence at morning runs and social events as well. Whether her son Jake is joining us for an early am run or her husband Frank is treating to us to his delicious pulled pork BBQ at a potluck, the team has embraced and is lucky to have her family!”

Christopher’s Place Members of the Month: Arnell and Stacey

Arnell D. joined Back on My Feet in March 2012 and has accumulated over 53 miles since his first run.  He says it’s hard to choose just one favorite moment but says that he loves reaching certain levels and sharing it with the team who has encourage him to keep reaching new levels.  Arnell says his biggest challenge is not giving up on himself and pushing himself to the limit.  His goal is to continue running no matter the mileage and enjoy the process of bonding and becoming a proud member of Back on My Feet.  On his runs, he thinks about his progress in life and how far he has come and thanks God for all of it.

Chrisopher’s Place Team Leader Jordyn says “Arnell’s nickname is the Blue Blur and he is super proud of that. Even while holding down a job, Arnell’s out there as often as he can with a laugh to push others and himself a bit further. We’ve loved the three months Arnell’s been on Team CP!

Stacey S. has loved her time with Back on My Feet since joining in November 2010.  Her best moment thus far was completing the Baltimore Marathon with her CP teammates.  When she runs, she thinks about how much she loves running and staying healthy with her super special team.  The next race on her agenda is the Baltimore 10 Miler.  Finally, she would like to tell people thinking about joining Back on My Feet to try it, because you will love it, even at 5:30 AM.

Jordyn says, “Stacey is such a motivation to so many people. She went from a beginner runner to running a marathon with Dom, an alum, and Andrea. Stacey is always available with a smile and words of encouragement. She has been great to have on the team.”

Baltimore Stations Member of the Month: Jared

Jared R. joined Back on My Feet in January 2012.  His favorite thing about Back on My Feet is the exchange of high-fives at the end of every  run because he says it is an unspoken way to say “Great effort and glad to share it with you.”  When he runs, he sometimes thinks through everything or sometimes thinks about nothing and escapes from everything.  Jared also loves to play soccer and uses running to stay in shape.  He loves any sort of competition and hates to lose.  Despite, that he wants to remind new runners that just like in life, not everything will go perfectly, but just accept the bad runs and appreciate the great runs.

Baltimore Station’s Team Leader Sarah says, “BSTAT quite simply wouldn’t be the same team without Jared on it. He is one of our absolutely constant 3-day-a-week runners, and has hardly missed a day since he joined a few months ago. Though no doubt one of the fastest BSTATers, he is often found running shorter distances, slower pace, or whatever it takes to keep any and all Res company on the roads– Jared shows up and runs not for himself, but for the team. He brings corny jokes, Orioles score reports, and occasionally marshmallows to our circle, and always keeps everyone laughing. BSTAT is lucky– and thankful– to have him!”

 

April has been an great month in Baltimore.  Nikia’s Nippy Nor’easter Half Marathon and Relay was a resounding success for all!  All of the teams ran with a great group from the National Transitional Jobs Network, a new partner with BoMF.  The Friday before Easter, the teams met at the harbor and had a city wide easter egg hunt!  The non-residents and alumni celebrated BoMF with an appreciation breakfast.  Congratulations and a big thank you to Rob C. from Team Helping Up for all his work in coordinating long runs on Saturdays.

April has been a BUSY month for Baltimore Station!  Teammates came out in full force for the Nikia Half, all with the hopes of beating Dan, Greg, and the rest of the race committee to the finish line. Eddie (with 100 miles under his belt) participated in his first Back on My Feet race by running a relay leg, and Roderick experienced BoMF spirit for the first time by joining teammates to cheer for the runners! Both Roderick and Jason started running at the end of March and really hit their strides in April, reaching 25 and 10 miles, respectively, and now two more resident members, Kurt and Al, have come on board, running their first few miles this month! And in other great news, after being sidelined by surgery, George is getting back to running again. The non-resident members have been busy running and racing too with the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, Baltimore’s Sole of the City 10k, and even the Boston Marathon all featuring a few BSTATers. BSTAT looks forward to finishing out April with Operation Oliver and a BSTAT Bowling Night, and May promises even more excitement!

April has been awesome for Team CP with a GREAT turn out at the Nikia Half and Relay. Jerome ran his first half marathon and crushed it in an hour and a half! Plus George, James, William, and Jordan all ran legs of the relay. Even Arnell came out to cheer and join with the CP band. The non-res came out in force as well, with many running the half marathon and relays. Team Triple Threat made up of Diane A, Nikia’s mom, and Bonnie won the oldest team award. They sure looked stylish out there! Christopher’s Place’s coaches have kept the team busy this month with track workouts, timed miles, and new routes. Four of the resident members reached their capstone, which means they are job ready. Congrats to William, James, Jordan, and Arnell! In fact, Jerome, George, Robert, and Dean Michael, are all working! And Jordan just got a job as well. The non-res have been busy this month as well between a happy hour at Sticky Rice and a few people ran the Sole of the City. Special shout out to MJ for winning second in her age group. Congrats to William (res) and Kevin (non-res) as CP’s members of the month. The team is looking forward to the Oliver 5K and the Maryland Half. The team is looking forward to introducing three new members on our team: William, Daryl, and Brandon.

April was a great month for Team Helping Up Mission! A new Rez member, Joe K., joined the team and the rest of the team is strong as always! There were several teammates who closed out March by running the Nikia Half Marathon and Relay and several who are training for the MD Half Marathon in May. Helping Up hosted a few All Team Saturday runs in April, which are great because the Helping Up runners get to see members from the other teams. The team is gearing up to run the Operation Oliver 5k on Saturday, April 28th. Also, on Sunday, April 22nd, several teammates celebrated their graduations from Helping Up Mission with a great ceremony at Martin’s West. Some teammates sponsored a table and enjoyed the very emotional ceremony. Everyone is always proud of the residential member teammates not only for what they are doing when they run, but for all they are accomplishing in their lives!

Team MCVET continues to grow! This month 3 new res members (Chris, Anthony and Terrance) were welcomed to the team as well as 6 new non-res members. Fresh off some stunning performances in the relay at the Nippy Nikia Half, team members are eagerly looking forward to the Operation Oliver 5k at the end of the month. Not only will it be a first race for several of MCVET’s newer members, it’s also a chance to get to see what many of the non-res members are involved in as it benefits the 6th Branch, a veteran-led nonprofit group that several of the team’s newest teammates are involved with. The team looks forward to getting some miles in while supporting a good cause!

Baltimore Station’s Members of the Month:  Daniel and Ben

Daniel  B. joined BSTAT in November and has already accumulated 90 miles. He loves being part of the team and running in the rain. He notes that the biggest challenge he faces running is building up his endurance and stamina. Through the program, Daniel is working toward his overarching goal of being a responsible and positive person. His advice for a new runner is to “take your time, take it easy, and keep it moving forward.” His first race with Back on My Feet will be Nikia’s Nippy Nor’easter Half Marathon – his first half! His favorite post-race meal varies, but after Nikia, he’s looking forward to digging into steak and potatoes.

Says Daniel’s team leader, Sarah C.:  “When Daniel isn’t in the morning circle, I instantly notice. He brings not just his exuberant greetings and his camouflage print pants to BSTAT, but a spirit and determination from which every person on the team draws energy. A great way to describe Daniel’s outlook comes from a few words he said to me recently on a particularly tough run. ‘Arghh I just hate hills!’ I complained. He replied wisely, “But keep going…they make you stronger.” Daniel quietly embraces every hill, mile, and race as a new challenge, and as he works to succeed, he inspires everyone around him.”

Ben F. joined BSTAT as a non-residential member in August, and his favorite moment so far was dressing up to run on Halloween morning. While running, Ben says, “Sometimes I think about song lyrics, sometimes I solve the problems of the day I am facing, sometimes I engage in prayer.” Ben’s last race was the Catonsville High School YMCA 5k on Thanksgiving, and he has a busy race schedule ahead of him: the D.C. Marathon in March, the Pittsburgh Marathon in May, the Wheeling WV Half Marathon on Memorial Day weekend, a 4th of July race, the Baltimore Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, and hopefully a couple triathlons. Whew! In the midst of that race schedule, Ben is excited to do a good job in his new role of Social Coordinator for BSTAT.

His favorite workout is running the BWI airport loop, and his advice for a new runner is: “You never know the places running will take you. You don’t have to be fast to enjoy it. Embrace your inner child and run!” And his running mantra is: “No matter how many miles you do, you are miles ahead of those that never get off the couch.”

Says Sarah C.: “Being a new member of a team is never easy, and when that team only meets in the dark, sleepy, pre-dawn hours, it makes it even harder to become familiar with new faces. Ben, who says he has trouble with names, does an incredible job of remembering and welcoming new people to the team. Whether it be by recalling someone’s college major, or pro football team preference, or first half marathon story, he makes up for the fact we only see each other in the dark, and pays attention to a thing far more important than someone’s face: he listens to each team member’s story.  Ben is an enthusiastic, energetic force, day in and day out, and our team is lucky to have him!”

Christopher’s Place’s Members of the Month:  Robert and Hillary

Robert and Hillary

Robert C. joined Team Christopher’s Place in November and has already accumulated more than 45 miles. His best moment so far was watching the 5 mile race. “Even though I couldn’t participate, getting to watch and be a cheerleader was great.” Robert is focused on his main goal for the next three months – finding employment. As he works toward that, he is enjoying what running brings to his life. He notes that his biggest running challenge is hills, but while running he tries to relax. “If I have a scripture, I think about that, otherwise I just focus on relaxing and breathing.” His advice for a new runner is, “Go for it!” Robert is working toward the Valentine’s Day 5k.

Robert’s team leader says, “Robert has been a wonderful addition to our team. His enthusiasm, spirit and kindness are infectious and he makes sure to support everyone. He has been recovering from an injury, but always shows up for his teammates even when he can’t run himself.”

Hillary G. joined CP as a non-residential member in November. She says her best moment was: “Before Snowlympics started with the D.C. teams, a group of us from Baltimore cheered on runners as they passed by us on the National Mall, complete with a tambourine and cow bell.  It was completely spontaneous, but so much fun!” When asked what she thinks about while running, Hillary says, “Running is a time when I clear my head.  If I am worried or anxious about anything, getting out with the team or on my own helps me put things into perspective.” Her advice for a brand new runner? “Just take it one mile at a time – that’s the only way.”

Hillary’s last race was the Frozen Finger 5-miler. She says, “I’m not quite sure what my time was, but it was my first non-road race, which kept things interesting for sure.” Her next race with Back on My Feet is the Valentine’s Day 5k. About Back on My Feet, Hillary says: “This experience has been incredibly life-giving.  It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are, it’s just amazing to see what can happen when team members come together in such a unique way to support each other.”

Says her team leader: “Hillary has been an incredible addition to our team since she started. She is always smiling and takes the time to get to know everyone on our team. From the very beginning, she has shown up to all our events and helps out with driving.”

MCVET’s Members of the Month:  Link and Shannon

Link and Bert (aka Joe Flacco)

Walter “Link” L. joined Team MCVET in December; he is off to a great start and is getting a lot out of being part of the team. Link says he used to train as a boxer: “It was very independent and I never considered myself very good with people so this camaraderie is a new experience for me and I am really enjoying it.”

Link’s goal for the next three months is to get stronger and start setting his sights on completing a marathon. When he runs, Link says he just “takes in the scenery and the companionship of the people I’m running with. I used to train with music all the time so it’s neat plugging into all the other sounds instead.”

Link’s next race and first race with the team is the Valentine’s Day 5k. Says Peter, Team MCVET team leader:  “Link surprised all of us when after completing his first mile with the team, he jumped in with the pack that was going out to get in a few extra miles. We learned later that day, that as a former boxer, Link never backs down from a challenge. He also never ceases to make runs that much more enjoyable, sharing his good humored spirit and outlook with his teammates as they pound the pavement together. Since his first day, he’s been racking up plenty of miles and recently set his sights on a 26.2 round heavyweight bout with the best hills our city can throw at him at next fall’s Baltimore Running Festival. We’re looking forward to getting to run alongside him as he prepares for this race and any other challenges that come up along the way.”

Shannon

Shannon W. joined Team MCVET as a non-residential member in March 2011. She jokes about her size 11 feet, “Feel free to call me “Big Foot” from now on – or as my high school swim team members dubbed me, “Flipper.”

Shannon says her best moment with Back on My Feet to date was completing her first race ever at the MCVET 10k in May with other first time resident racers and then setting a goal to complete her first half marathon this October. “I never would have done either without the encouragement of our wonderful team. When running the half marathon, I heard Greg’s voice telling me to keep my head down and pass people on the hills. It worked!”

Next up for Shannon: volunteering at the Nikia Half Marathon. Her goal for the next three months is to stay well and hopefully get back to running.

Says Peter, team leader: “For months, John told us about how he hoped to lure his wife out to join us one morning for a run, and we are so grateful that he succeeded! Since coming out for her first morning with the team, Shannon has become one of our most dedicated and supportive non-residential members.  For almost a year now, it’s been a real pleasure for every one of our members to get to know her and spend the mornings with Shannon.  She always has the best interest of the team and its members in mind and is eager to lend a hand to whoever needs it. She’s been known to push the pace at the front of the pack some mornings, but also to walk and listen with anyone as well. She welcomes our newest residential and non-residential members alike and has even graced us with her delicious baked (healthy!) treats for members’ birthdays.  We can’t say enough about how much we appreciate having Shannon as part of Team MCVET!”

Team Helping Up Mission’s Members of the Month:  Bryant and Rachel

Bryant

Bryant J. joined Back on My Feet as a residential member in September, and though he says his biggest challenge is waking up early and getting out there to get started, he has already run more than 100 miles! His best moment so far was participating in the Baltimore Running Festival, and his goal for the next three months is to complete his first half marathon. His next race is the Valentine’s Day 5k.

When asked what he thinks about while running, Bryant says, “There are a of things that go through my mind, but mostly I think about getting things back on track in my life and doing well.”

Says Rob Carfagno, team leader: “Bryant has such a great attitude and has done a lot to jump in and make new friends on the team. He’s always smiling and goes out of his way to come up to me and say hello each morning when he reaches the circle. He’s increased his mileage recently and is working toward his first half marathon. He’s enthusiastic about his running and it seems like everything he has going on…he’s definitely great to be around. I’m excited to see all of the great things Bryant will accomplish in the coming months, both in running and in life!”

Rachel and Honey Dip

Rachel S. joined Team THUMB as a non-residential member in July 2011. Her best moment so far?  “Running AND finishing the 2011 Baltimore Half Marathon with Steve, Bonnie, Julie and Erica, also known as Steven’s Crew. We ran the whole race together and really stuck by each other. I remember I was struggling at the beginning, but then there was Steven, running backwards with encouraging words getting me up the hills. We ran into the finish line holding hands. I was so proud of my teammate, it’s quite an accomplishment to complete a half marathon and we did it.” Now, Rachel is gearing up for the Nikia Half Marathon at the end of March.

Rachel often brings her sweet dog, Honey Dip, to the morning runs, much to the delight of her teammates. Rachel says, “Some of the things I think about when running are:  Why won’t Honey Dip (HD) slow down? 2. Please please please don’t come across a chicken bone, HD will eat anything not nailed down (and some stuff that is nailed down), chicken bones are not good for dogs. 3. If I wasn’t running with Back on My Feet, I’d definitely have stopped to walk by now. 4. How many blocks until the end of the run? Some of the things I assume Honey Dip is thinking about when running are: 1. Hope we run by chicken bones. 2. Mom, can you run faster? 3. Can’t wait to finish so I can see my friends, they love me and pet me. 4. WOOF!

Says team leader, Rob Carfagno: “Our team is lucky to have Rachel (and Honey Dip!) as our teammate!  Rachel is always so enthusiastic and you will often hear her say how important Back on My Feet is to her. She really loves to be part of the team and she goes out of her way to make those around her feel comfortable. Rachel and Honey Dip bring smiles to lots of our teammates early in the morning. Rachel helps to make a real difference to those around her and it is clear just how much the team means to her!”

 

 

Circling up for the Frozen Finger 5 Miler

January was a fun month, starting with the Frozen Fingers 5 Miler, which had a mix of cross country, a road course and even some laps on a track.  A crew from Baltimore also traveled to Washington, D.C. to take part in Snowlympics, a field day filled with games and friendly competition among the teams. On January 18th, Orientation 2.0 took place where members shared their personal stories of addiction and how it has affected them and their families.

Training is underway for the 3rd Annual Nikia’s Nippy Nor’easter Half-Marathon and Relay which will take place on March 31st.  Several of our teammates will participate in this race, some of them running their first half marathon.  There are also relay options so this race has something for everyone.

Team Baltimore Station has charged headfirst into the new year, with excitement and eagerness for what 2012 will bring. Residential members Len and Gary hope to run half marathons again this year, and Daniel has started training for his very first half! Many non-residential members are lacing up their shoes for the Nikia Half too, and hoping to fare well on the NCR trail. Also, Mid-January saw a changing of the guard at BSTAT. After a send-off breakfast for Fast Dan (who stepped down so he could step up his training and become even faster!), Sarah took over as team leader. Her mile times might not look like Dan’s, but her smiles—and jokes and weekly videos—will hopefully make up for it. All of BSTAT looks forward to a great year ahead!

Team Christopher’s Place has had a lot of change and good times during January.  Jordyn took over as team leader and Ben H. has stepped up as the Social Coordinator.  He is SUPER enthusiastic and excited to share his ideas with the team.  Sarah M. has also stepped in to assist Amy U. as the non-residential member coordinator since the CP non-res contingent has grown to be so big!  This month we had a happy hour at the Green Turtle that was well attended.  As for the residents, EIGHT guys went down to D.C. to participate in their Snowlympics.  A good day was had by all, and the CP band lives on strong!  Residential member Jerome is now working!  While he misses some of the regular runs, he still is there when he can and is still training for the Nikia half.  George ran his first 5 miler at the Frozen Fingers race and loved every minute of it!  He is now considering training for the Maryland Half. Coaches Paul and Kevin are thinking up new ways for CP to eat hills for breakfast and are adding new fun runs including “Freaky Fridays” and “Wacky Wednesdays” to the weekly schedules.

Team McVET has had plenty of exciting news as 2011 came to an end and 2012 kicked off. Right on the heels of the birth of Maya’s daughter and Darryl M’s daughter, Walker welcomed his fourth child, JP, into the world.  Paul D. announced that he’s now expecting a fifth child so soon enough, the two of them will be able to field an entire baseball team for the rest of us to cheer on! In addition to newborns, the team welcomed Odell and Joy as our newest residential members! Also this month, existing members took on new opportunities. Ja-Aura started dental school and Tim secured an interview and a new job in Port Covington! Longtime non-residential member Lauren L. also took on duties as part of her role as an intern with BoMF Baltimore and began rotating her running schedule among all 5 teams.

Team Helping Up Mission welcomed one new member this month, Paul P.  Paul is already a runner and is very excited to be part of the team.  We had three guys run the Frozen Fingers 5 miler, Mike B. 36:22, Frank P. 37:01 and Barry B. 44:43.  We celebrated a few big accomplishments this month as Mike H. celebrated two years of sobriety and Tim B. graduated from Helping Up Mission.  After a little over a year with the team, Mike B. moved back home to get started on the next part of his journey. We are sad that Mike will no longer be at the morning runs, but very excited that things are going well for him. We love to see him so happy and able to make this step in his life!

MCVET’s Members of the Month:  Terrell and Sean  

  

  

  

  

Terrell's BOMF Ink

Terrell has been a member since day one, and in all of the time he has spent with BoMF, he says that “it’s not about one moment for me that stands out, it’s about all the moments and the genuine friendships built from those moments. Special shout out to Jenn, Maggie and Geoff – all of them have been so good to me.” He says that his biggest challenge is overcoming his shortcomings.  Being injured and having to make the hard call to stop a run or pull out of a race is one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do.  Terrell became an alumni in 2011 when began taking classed and moved into his own place.  His goal for the next three months is to focus on settling into his apartment making it cozy, and of course, finish the Frozen Finger 5 Miler. 

Somewhere along that 5 Miler course, Terrell claims he’ll be thinking about “Where I am in life at the moment and all the steps I’ve taken along the way. Most of the time that gets me thinking about how much BoMF played a role in those steps.” 

“Terrell S. has been a member of been a member of Team MCVET since Back on My Feet first circled up in March of 2009 and despite  moving on from MCVET, becoming an alumni, and starting school and work, his commitment to this team and its members, both old and new has never wavered.  He literally wears his commitment on his sleeve! Terrell’s support for his teammates has been on full display on numerous notable occasions these past few months. At the Baltimore Running Festival, Terrell was forced to drop out of his own half-marathon race as a result of a calf injury, but rather than call it a day or let his disappointment get the best of him, he instead hobbled straight back to the finish line where he stood out as the most enthusiastic and loudest spectator, cheering each of his BoMF teammates in. Then again at last week’s Celtic Solstice, Terrell wasn’t registered for the race, but somehow managed to show up on course to accompany Sean for his return to racing after his accident last summer. Terrell truly is an incredible friend, supporter and teammate to all of us on Team MCVET.” – Peter, MCVET Team Leader 

Sean and Team

“Sean, a member of Team MCVET since the Baltimore chapter first launched, has always given himself to Back on My Feet’s mission and members, whether serving as a race coordinator, refereeing Wipe Out, capturing the crowd’s attention with his “Shoutin’” or being there for a teammate when they needed it. Over the course of the past two plus years, he’s become a true friend to everyone who has laced up their sneakers to run with BoMF Baltimore. Sean had planned to run his second marathon this past fall at the Marine Corps Marathon, but in July, these training plans and his life were tragically altered when he was struck by a car while out on training run one evening.

This accident left him hospitalized for months and facing a long and arduous road to recovery that entailed multiple surgeries and extensive physical rehabilitation. “There was major trauma and damage to my left leg, thoracic vertebrae (near my spinal column), and left shoulder,” Sean recalls. “I could not walk, use my left arm, was wearing a spinal brace and was not fully cognizant for a period of time.  Mentally and physically, I was damaged. The outpouring not only from  MCVET but the rest of the teams has moved me to tears many times. For me, at that point, being “Back On My Feet” was a literal goal as my left leg had suffered enough damage that I could not walk for a significant period of time and knowing that I had the whole BOMF Baltimore community behind me was a huge help and and an enormous comfort to me. Just the chance to look around my hospital room and see the cards (SO many cards), the food, the photographs, and the little gifts, all of which reassured me and gave me the strength to know I could make it and succeed, to one day go back to running, that there was large group rooting for me and encouraging me.” Several teammates even used their own races to fundraise on his behalf.

Continuing with his physical therapy and light-impact cross training, Sean plans to continue furthering his recovery and moving closer to resuming to run. Sean says his goals is to be able to participate in the MCVET 5k or 10k in May. Continuing to be optimistic, Sean says, “If I manage to exceed my physical therapist’s expectations I may be able to do the Bruckenthal 5k.  I hope to attend the Valentine’s run and I will be at the Nippy Nikia as part of the race committee.”

Despite the seriousness of his injuries, Sean remained committed to running again and although I never doubted his strength or resolve, I have to admit I had reservations when he told me that he planned to take the starting line at the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler in December. Sure enough though, on the morning of December 17th, not even six months after his accident, Sean circled up before the race with the rest of his Back on My Feet teammates who were running the race. Joined on course by his girlfriend and a growing contingent of Back on My Feet teammates, Sean [speed!] walked his way through the hilly five miles and crossed the finish line. The strength and perseverance Sean demonstrated through his recovery has been truly inspiring to each and every one of us who knows him and we look forward to lining up at more and more races beside him in 2012.” – Peter, MCVET Team Leader 

  

Team Helping Up Mission’s Members of the Month:  Stefan and Misha 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Stefan and Misha

  

  

  

  

  

Stefan B., who joined BoMF in July 2011 and has logged more than 100 miles, says his best moment so far was “being a part of the Baltimore Running Festival. It was a great run.” While his biggest challenge is dealing with injury/pain in his foot, Stefan is ready to lace up his shoes for the Frozen Finger 5-Miler on January 7. His goal for the next three months is to complete his GED, and while running, Stefan says, “I think about the future.  I want to stay open, humble and focused.” 

Says Rob Carfagno, team leader: “Stefan likes to come out and have fun with his teammates.  You can usually find him joking around with the team and keeping the mood light.  Seeing him dance and have fun at the BASH was one of the highlights of the night!  He has battled through some foot pain in recent months, but still does what he needs to in order to improve his running and better himself in many ways.” 

Misha, who joined BoMF as a non-residential member in September 2011, says that her best moment “reoccurs every time my teammates subtly remind me with their actions that before I ran with them, I had no idea what I was missing by not being part of a team. From the hugs my very first morning, to being at the mile 22 water stop during BRF and screaming for BoMF, from dancing with my posse at the BASH, to every time a teammate runs at a slower pace for me, from my first morning run after nursing a sprained ankle, to being escorted in for my timed mile even though I was last to finish, from hearing about every time a teammate gets a PR, to the high fives after finishing, from being pushed to further distances, to being the one holding everyone’s stuff.  There are so many awesome moments, that unfortunately for them, any time someone asks me how my running is going, they are treated to a 15 minute rave about Team HUM.” 

Misha traveled to Australia to visit family for the holiday and while she was planning to attempt the Frozen Finger, she won’t be back in time.  She says, “Team HUM is going to have to settle for a regular Wednesday run as my next race! I hope they remember who I am!” 

Says Rob Carfagno, team leader: “Misha has made a big impact on our team in the short time since she joined!  She has supported at a few races and is one of the most enthusiastic people out there!  Misha enjoys joking around with teammates and she can usually be found in the middle of a circle of laughter each morning (and her voice can usually be heard above everyone else!).  In addition to making people laugh, she also shows great compassion and friendship to her teammates and is one of those people who you know you can count on for anything. Misha understands the true meaning of Back on My Feet and has been a great addition to our team.” 

Christopher’s Place’s Members of the Month:  Jerome and Sadie 

Jerome

Jerome E., who joined Team Christopher’s Place in September 2011, has already logged more than 180 miles and says that his best moment to date was winning the 5k race. He was very surprised and felt very proud to have accomplished the win. While he finds Baltimore hill running challenging, Jerome likes to take risks and meet challenges head-on. One of Jerome’s goals for the next few months is to complete a half, or possibly a full, marathon. While running, Jerome thinks about, “my mother and my child, they are my inspirations right now.” 

Jerome’s last race was the Celtic Solstice. “It was great. I felt better at the end than at my previous race.” He is currently gearing up for the Frozen Finger 5 Miler. 

Sadie

Sadie S. joined Back on My Feet in August 2010 and says, “It is really hard to pick just one favorite moment. I loved our birthday run last year because there was this huge snake of people running through the harbor and I thought how amazing it was to be part of something so grand.  Tons of people from different backgrounds and places doing different things from 9-5, but all focused on one goal at 5:30 a.m.” 

When asked to say something that most people don’t know about her, Sadie says, “I’m really afraid of the dark.” So, it’s good that she has lots of teammates to protect her on those dark, early morning runs. “Johnathan R. made me practice running and talking at the same time, so I’m a chatterbox.” 

Sadie’s last race was the Baltimore Running Festival half marathon. “I didn’t make the time I wanted, but I finished. I still haven’t gotten that ‘itch’ to do another, or to do a full.  Sorry to disappoint all you nutty runners!” Sadie’s next run with the BoMF crew will likely be the Nikia relay. 

When asked what she would tell someone considering joining Team Christopher’s Place, Sadie says, “You will undoubtedly change someone’s life, but joining will undoubtedly change yours too.” And, her advice for a brand new runner? “Starting is the hardest part. It gets better and easier and more fun.”

December has always been one of the busiest and most exciting months for all of Back on My Feet Baltimore and 2011 certainly was no exception. The month kicked off with Baltimore Bash, a truly wonderful evening hosted by the Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards where friends, members and supporters of Back on My Feet Baltimore came together to reflect and celebrate the past year’s feats and accomplishments. Highlighted by a great group of speakers and a silent auction that featured a personal training session with Ray Lewis and his trainer Monte Sanders, the night was a huge success for Back on My Feet and helped raise more than $50,000 for our chapter!

As the month continued, there were plenty more plenty more reasons to celebrate both with the holidays and with a bevy of personal milestones and accomplishments in our members’ lives.

Team MCVET welcomed several new members to the roster this month including three new residential members: Chris M., Jason L., and Walter L., as well as two newborn Team MCVET’ers! Congratulations to Maya and her husband Ian on the birth of their daughter and alumni Darryl M and his wife Keta on the birth of their first child! We wish them all the best and expect to see them out running with us soon!

Team Christopher’s Place has also been growing at a rapid pace with nine new residential members joining the roster this month alone! Meanwhile, George and Jerome both graduated from their second phase at Christopher’s Place and Kani is already employed! In addition, all-star CP team member Dom, fresh on the heels of completing his first marathon at the Baltimore Running Festival has committed to and signed up for the D.C. Rock n’ Roll Marathon in March and has already started training!

Team Helping Up Mission welcomed two new teammates, Frank P. and Dre D., to the team while also celebrating Eric B. and Dave H.’s graduations and stalwart Back on My Feet’er Barry B. celebrated his third year of sobriety!

Some longtime Back on My Feet Baltimore members are transitioning into new roles as Jordyn will take over for Sadie as Christopher Place’s new team leader, Sarah steps into Fast Dan’s (bright orange!) shoes as team leader for Team Baltimore Station, and Henry T. passes the MCVET team captainship to Tim R.

December, of course, marks the holiday season, and Back on My Feet soaked up the holiday spirit with teams planning evening runs through the Miracle on 34th Street, cookie bakes, and of course the annual holiday party and Celtic Solstice 5 miler! The holiday party was highlighted by crock pots, ugly yet festive sweaters dug out from our grandmothers’ closets, and the joy of being able to come together as a chapter to celebrate and thank each other for our commitment to Back on My Feet.  During the evening’s events, the member of the year award winners were announced to the cheers of their teammates. Mike B., from Helping Up Mission, was recognized as the Residential Member of the Year while Diane was awarded the Non-residential Member of the Year award. Congratulations to Mike and Diane, and thank you both for the hard work and time you have given to BoMF and its members over the course of the past of the year to make this such a memorable program for all of us.

Celtic Solstice Circle

Well-fueled on oatmeal, holiday cookies, pasta and chili dishes, BoMF Baltimore came out in full force for the Celtic Solstice 5 Miler in Druid Hill Park the next morning. Alumni, res, non-res and family members were all well represented among the field of more than 3,000 runners. While the day saw several PRs, first time racers, and Santa Claus costumes, it was highlighted by the return of our dear friend and teammate Sean F., of Team MCVET to the starting line. Sean was struck by a car while running on his own one night in July and after months in the hospital and physical therapy, took the starting line alongside his teammates at the morning’s race. His strength and resolve in getting there the past few months has captivated and inspired all of us and truly demonstrated that through hard work, grit and teamwork, no obstacle is too great. Sean continued to pick up more teammates as he made his way through the course, finishing alongside a huge pack of caroling and cheering teammates.

As we move into a new year, we are thankful for all the great memories and accomplishments that 2011 brought us and look forward to another great year in 2012.