Posts Tagged Back on My Feet Indianapolis

golden runners team  The weather was perfect!  The atmosphere festive!  Everyone having a great time!  We had 70 teams running this year – last year we had 37.  Bimbo Bakeries USA provided great treats for all the runners – a hit for sure!  Wishard Eskenazi Health came with the most company teams – five teams – and plans on having more next year.

Thanks to all the teams that came out to run and support BoMF!  A round of applause  to all our volunteers (many who were our Residential Members) who helped with registration, course set up and take down, and on the course cheering our runners on! Thanks to our Relay Committee and Board Members who helped with promotion and prizes.   Many thanks to the JW Marriott and Starbucks who provided the coffee for a chilly morning!  A big thanks to Rochelle Butler who volunteered her time and talents to take photos of the race! (we will have these up on our website soon) All of you made this race a success!
As always, a HUGE THANKS to our non-residential team members who came out to run with our guys.  You are the best volunteers by far – thanks for all you do to support our Residential Members!





603693_10200287337004108_1469953829_nShoe Size? 9

Favorite post run food? Chocolate milk

Why do you run? In addition to keeping me sane most days, it centers me and helps me be a better person.

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done? 4 marathons, around 10 half marathons and no 10k or 5ks.

Favorite race you’ve ever done? The Chicago Marathon, my first one, many years ago.

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon? Learn to swim

Favorite music? I love all kinds, could never narrow it down to a favorite. Although, Jimmy Buffett is high on my list this time of year.

Favorite vacation spot? “Up North” Michigan

Family? Husband, John, and 2 kids. Vincent is 11 and Sydney is 7.

How did you hear about BoMF? What has BoMF meant to you? Why did you stick with it? I heard about BoMF through a friend at the same time I was looking for some new volunteer opportunities. I have loved every minute I have spent with BoMF. Through all the people I have met, residents and non-residents, they have inspired and encouraged me to learn to love better those around me and to always be grateful. Once you start, it’s easy to stick with because of the people. I continue to be humbled by the amazing people that I am surrounded with each time I show up to run.

What is your favorite memory of a time with BoMF so far?It’s hard to narrow it down. I have many great memories. If I had to narrow it down though, it would be a tie between running the Carmel half marathon with Joe, Barb and Deb and attending the BoMF Birthday Bash. It was especially great seeing all the guys,not only in the daylight, but also, all dressed up and looking sharp!

Advice for people who might want to start running with BoMF? 5:45am is not as early as it seems :). It’s a great way to start the day.


Thanks for your dedication to the team Lori!  Keep up the great work!

IMG_2754Running Shoe Size: 11
Home Town/Family: Indianapolis, two sons
Fave Athletes/Coaches: Tiger Woods, Magic Johnson
Fave Music: Jazz and R & B
Fave Post Race Beverage: Gatorade
Fave Food: Greens, macaroni and cheese and fried chicken.
In what branch did you serve? I served in the Army as a medic.
Most memorable BoMF event? I’d say it was my first race. It was the 5K at the Monumental.  I was running with another guy that was new to BoMF and we just stayed with each other.  He was a better runner than me at the time and he encouraged me at the beginning of the race. Near the end his knees started to hurt and I was encouraging him. We wouldn’t leave each other behind.
Why did you come out for the BoMF team?  I joined to meet people as soon as I got to HVAF. That was back in October 2012. I also saw that BoMF had a willingness to help those people who wanted help. BoMF’s incentives enabled me to get a laptop for school and paid for my books for school. They also helped me focus on incremental steps to move out by October. For example the Financial Literacy classes helped me re-learn how to budget money.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your life right now and how are you meeting that challenge? I just don’t want to stagnate; I want to aim higher. When I arrived to HVAF my goal was to be out in one year.  I got back in school and BoMF gave me a way to get my mind clear.
What races have you run in with BoMF? The Monumental was the first and then came the Drumstick Dash last November. I’ve also run the Winter Run at Marian University, the Bull Dog Jog, the Fast Flash and Joseph Maley at Eagle Creek Park.
Could you share more about the position you recently accepted? Once I received training and obtained my certification I was offered a position at the Veterans Administration Medical Center as a peer specialist. Many vets are in a critical stage of homelessness (over 2 years homeless) and they need help meeting basic needs such as obtaining food, shelter, transportation to medical appointment, etc. Sometimes I share my story and history with homelessness and addictions.  I do  a lot of transporting and relationship building to help support the case  managers in their work with the veterans.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Just relax! I enjoy listening to music and spending time with family.
We give a runner’s salute to Earl for his commitment to the Warman Warriors Back on My Feet Team and for his ability to set goals and meet them!

Earl and Scott getting it done at the Monumental

Earl and Scott getting it done at the Monumental

Monumental 5K Finisher

Monumental 5K Finisher

Earl and his Warman teammates just before the start of the Winter Run

Earl and his Warman teammates just before the start of the Winter Run

Running Shoe Size: 8

Tony enjoying a little of his fave post face food with Jamie Burns.

Tony enjoying a little of his fave post face food with Jamie Burns.

Home Town:  Shelbyville, IN

Fave Music:  Heavy Metal and Rock N Roll

Fave Post Race Food: Bananas

Fave Food: Pepperoni Pizza

In what branch of the military did you serve?  Marines

Most memorable BoMF memory? “Probably the Joseph Maley Run last July. I set a goal of 35 minutes and I met it.”

Why did you come out for the BoMF team?  “My leg was in bad shape and I thought coming out to run with Back on My Feet  would help.”

What difference has BoMF made in your life? “My leg feel feels better and I’m in much better shape.  The friendships are a positive influence and the volunteers are encouraging. And of course I appreciate the grant money.”

What’s most challenging aspect of your life right now and how are you meeting that challenge? “Getting up in the morning. I am NOT a morning person.”

What races have you run in with BoMF? “A bunch – I’ve been running with the team for about a year. Some of the races are Carmel 5K, Out Run the Sun, Pogue’s Run, Eagle Creek Trail Run, Indy Monumental 5K and the BoMF 42K Relay

What do you like to do in your spare time? “Well I’m a pretty good car mechanic and I like to play chess online.”

BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) “I want to secure a steady income and my my own place.”

We give a runner’s salute to Tony for his commitment to the team and a pat on the back for improving his running times and distance.


Shoe Size?  Running shoes – 9; non-running shoes – 7.5

Favorite post run food?  Coffee since it’s usually early in the morning!

Why do you run?  I love the challenge and the “me” time to clear my mind, and I love my friendships that have developed from running.  My closest friends started out as running partners before we really knew one another.

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done?  Zero marathons; 6 half marathons, lots of 5Ks

Favorite race you’ve ever done?  Nashville Half Marathon

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon?  Completing my first full marathon this year, along with getting married and turning 30!

Favorite music?  Anything with lyrics, I like it all!

Favorite vacation spot?  Anywhere by water- I love the beach, northern Michigan, my parents’ lake house!

Family?  Getting married in April- so that will make a husband, Peter!  I have one sister who is marries with 2 kids.

How did you hear about BoMF? What has BoMF meant to you? Why did you stick with it?  My friend was the sales assistant for the JW Marriott and did the launch event for BoMF Indianapolis.  She emailed our friends trying to raise money for BoMF and as soon as I read about it, I knew I wanted to get involved.

What is your favorite memory of a time with BoMF so far?  I really enjoyed the 42K relay last October, and I have a particularly fond memory of one of the resident members laying out his plan on how he was going to better his situation during one of our Saturday morning training runs.

Advice for people who might want to start running with BoMF?  You don’t have to be a runner to join!  But it’s difficult not to be motivated when you’re surrounded by a group of runners.  It’s a great way to meet all different types of people and help a great cause while you’re doing it.


Running Shoe Size:10

Joe, Tom and Brian before the BoMF 42K Relay.

Home Town/Family: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, two sisters, one brother

Fave Athletes/Coaches: Tim Duncan, (center San Antonio Spurs), Tom Brady (QB New England Patriots), Bobby Knight (former IU basketball coach)

Fave Music: Easy Listening

Fave Post Race Food: Fruit

Fave Food: Baked Chicken

In what branch did you serve? Navy, four years as a machinist

Most memorable BoMF memory? Climbing what seemed like mountains in the Planet Adventure trail run. Leon and I were jumping logs and encouraging a group of female runners and they were doing the same to us.

Why did you come out for the BoMF team?  To be part of a group and be held accountable. It makes you get up in the morning and run. I like the races, the individual accomplishments and cheering each other on.

What difference has BoMF made in your life? I’m more physically fit and mentally tough.

What’s most challenging aspect of your life right now and how are you meeting that challenge? Right now it’s getting a job.

What races have you run in with BoMF? Which one was your fave? Outrun the Sun, Joseph Maley Run, Drumstick Dash, Planet Adventure Trail Run, Trinity Trot and the BoMF 42K Relay. I’d say the 42K Relay and the Planet Adventure Trail Run were my favorites.

What do you like to do in your spare time? I like to watch movies, all kinds like action, tech movies and even love stories.  It takes a really funny movie to make me laugh though. I also like to read. Dr. William Glasser is one of my favorite authors.

Joe’s BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals). I’d like to find consistent employment and complete the RN program that I will start in April. It should take about a year. Eventually I’d like to return to Milwaukee to be closer to my parents and siblings.

We give a runner’s salute to Joe
for his commitment to the Warman Warriors
Back on My Feet Team, his kind eyes and million dollar smile!

Joe finishes strong with his BoMF 42K Relay Team of Tom, Leon and Emily

Crossing the finish line at the Planet Adventure Trail Run

Taking it easy before Outrun the Sun


Karen and Jay at the BoMF Christmas Party!

Shoe Size? 10 Narrow

Favorite post run food? Chocolate Milk!!!

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done? 5 half marathons in 2011

Favorite race you’ve ever done? Dances with Dirt – A relay race through the hills, trails, and streams of Brown County.  Every leg is different – and each person runs three segments.  The total race is 100K (62 miles) so each person runs close to a half marathon distance.  Bring a change of shoes and clothes for each leg – because you will be wet and muddy!  And bring a sense of humor – there are costumes, themes, music along the way and a pig roast at the end.

Favorite music? Jam bands – some old (Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, Widespread Panic) and some newer (Dave Matthews, Umphrey’s Mcgee)

Favorite athlete/team/sport? IU Basketball – Go Hoosiers!

Favorite vacation spot? Tough call, because I love to travel and try new places.  But, my favorite vacation was probably when we went to the Grand Canyon.  We went on a week long rafting trip from Marble Canyon to the Grand Canyon National Park and hiked out the Bright Angel trail.  We are part of a group of about 25 people.  We did many side hikes along the way and camped out under the stars every night.  The best part was 7 days with my family (including two teenage boys) with no electronics – no email or work disruptions for me, and no texting or electronic gaming for my boys!.

Tell us about your family? Married with two young adult boys (Patrick, 20 and Michael, 17) and a Golden Retriever (Sadie).  My mom, sister, 2 nieces and 2 nephews live in town, and my brother and his family are in Trujillo, Peru.  I also have more cousins around the world than you can count!

What is your most memorable BoMF memory? Running the Women’s Half.  BoMF had a water station set up in a spot where we were able to see the guys on the way out and on the way back, so it was a great support on a hot, steamy day.  The best memory, though was coming back to run with the group on Monday morning and being told by one of the BoMF runners, “yeah, you all looked good going out, but you girls weren’t looking so pretty on the way back!”  Truer words were never spoken! : )

How did you hear about BoMF?  Why did you stick with it?  What has BoMF meant to you?   I decided to start running with BoMF after seeing the group at the Joseph Maley run at Eagle Creek.  I could tell they were a close group, and I wanted to learn more and to be part of the fun.  I have loved getting to know the many runners in the group;  seeing the newer runners achieve running goals they may have never considered before – finishing their first 5K, half marathon or full marathon; while at the same time achieving their personal goals of new jobs, new housing.  I now look forward to my morning runs with BoMF.  Not only do I get my work out done by 6:30 am, but I get to start my day with good conversation, the support of the group, and an abundance of hugs!  What a great way to start the day!


Branch of military: Army

Shoe Size: 10.5

Longest race with BoMF: Drumstick Dash (4.6 miles)

Favorite food before/after race: I LOVE all food minus tomatoes

Favorite Movie: Tie between Brian’s Song and Billie Jack

Favorite kind of music: all kinds, favorite song is Kid Rock’s Born Free

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite place to visit: Hawaii, Italy or France

Life dream: Go to golf school

What do you like about BoMF: I hated running when I got out of the Army because it was my job. Now I do it for fun and enjoy it. It helps me set goals and every run I finish is achieving a goal. I battle addiction and this helps me get through it and I find it therapeutic. I feel better, set goals, achieve them and set larger goals.

 Jay has hit the ground running, literally. Jay quickly took to jogging and now has been running with our fast pace run group. He’s excited seeing his miles accumulate quickly in the running group and has inspired other guys to push themselves harder.



Damon with his stocking that the Manchester Non-Residential teammates put together for the Residential teammates!

Branch of military: Army

Family: Mother, 2 brothers, 1 sister, 2 daughters (28 & 26) and one son (24)

Shoe size: 12

Hometown: Indianapolis

Favorite pre-race food: he doesn’t eat despite all the good advice given to him :-)

Favorite post-race food: bananas and water

Favorite music: Pop – he loves Michael Jackson – no wonder why he was seriously shaking a tail feather at the Drumstick Dash!

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite movie: Scarface

Place he wants to visit: Africa

Goals: get married again, be a good husband, father, grandfather and product member of society

What do you like about BoMF: It’s the true meaning of team work. It’s a relationship with no conditions and provides me with a sense of health. I never thought I could run, but I realize I can!

Damon has been on our injured list for quite some time, but Damon is out with us to open and close the morning with our prayer circle and he does it with a great attitude. He is the first to volunteer for something when we need help and his smile and laugh is always a great start to any one’s morning!

Damon with his Back on My Feet 42K Relay teammates! Team “I’d rather be eating”

There’s always a reason to celebrate when one of our teammates scores a job, however recently we were kicking up our heels when we learned that one of our long-time team members was awarded Associate of the Month by the Sheraton Indianapolis City Center Hotel.

Having been on the job for a little over four months, Jeffrey Powell was recognized for his performance, productivity and dedication to the property and the guests.  “Being a maintenance engineer, you never know what you’re going to be called to fix or build. It could be anything from a leak to drywall repair. Sometimes it’s as easy as plugging the lamp in for the guest.  Whatever it is, I respond as soon as I get the call. A lot of times I work ahead to keep on top of possible problems that might occur”, said Jeffrey.

Jeffrey, who previously served in the United States Navy, has been an active team member with the BoMF Indy Warman Warriors team.  Throughout his 15 months with the team, he has maintained 100% attendance and continues to humor our early morning runs with his “Jeffreyisms” that include words of wisdom appearing to be more of a cross between an Aesop Fable and witty sarcasm. Being one to “call it like he sees it” he is quick to recognize the BoMF volunteers as the  most upbeat and dedicated folks he’s ever known and explains, “Everyday the volunteers come down here and they’re always happy, even early in the morning. They never complain about the gas or the time. They are real leaders who lead by example.  I wouldn’t be doing what I am today without Back on My Feet and the volunteers.”

As the Warman Warriors’ featured Runner in the Month last January, Jeffrey cited his reason for joining “Happy Feet” as he refers to it, was to obtain a job. His goal was to eventually move out of transitional housing and be a home owner again. Obtaining a job through one of Back on My Feet’s job partners has moved Jeffrey one step closer to his goal.

Jeffrey and volunteer Emily Hickman finish the Hoosier Hoops 5K together.

Indy BoMF Program Director Brian Meyer, Jeffery and volunteers celebrate the accomplishments of helping Hoosier Hearts and Hands get closer to their goal of renovating homes in the Haughville community.

Circling up at the end of a run with the Serenity Prayer.

Collin with Manchester Residential Member Ed at the Back on My Feet 42K Relay. They have logged many miles together!

Shoe Size?  10

Favorite post run food? It’s a toss-up between donuts and my favorite, go-to sandwich: toast with peanut butter, sometimes with a little Nutella, and bananas

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done? I’ve run three marathons, ten half-marathons, and a handful of 5- and 10-k races.

Favorite race you’ve ever done? It’s a three-way tie between the marathons I’ve run.  My first was the 2008 Marine Corps Marathon.  It’s a great race with a beautiful course.  Like many runners’ first marathon, it’s very memorable.  The second was the 2011 Carmel Marathon.  It was fun to be a part of the inaugural race.  Much to my surprise, I placed 9th and qualified for the 2012 Boston Marathon, my 3rd and most recent marathon. 

Favorite music? Indie (Alternative, Rock, Folk)

Favorite athlete/team/sport?  My favorite sport?  Football…err…what we call “soccer” here.  I played growing-up and I’ve always loved the sport.  I’m a big fan of Manchester United, an English football club.  I do love the Colts, though; gotta support the hometown team!  My favorite athlete is ultra-runner Dean Karnazes.  I’ve read his books and even had the chance to run with him when he came through Indiana in April 2011 during his “Run Across America.”  I question whether or not he’s a human with the mileage he’s able to endure (ha), but he’s an inspiration to me and many other runners.      

Favorite vacation spot?   Siesta Key, FL.  My family’s gone there for years.  It’s a great location and we have so many great memories there.

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon?  I plan to run thirty miles on my 30th birthday this coming May.  If all goes well, I’ll sign-up for an ultra-marathon, more than likely a 35-miler. 

Why do you run?  Tough question!  My dad ran when I was younger, so I guess you can say it’s in my genes to be a runner.  When I was a Senior in college, though, one of my best friends who happened to be an amazing Cross Country and Track runner, challenged me to run the Indianapolis Mini Marathon.  I took him up on the challenge, even though the race was on graduation day.  Since that day, it’s been a part of my life.  Also, when I was 12-years old, I was in a pretty serious “bicycle vs. car” accident, I being on the bicycle.  It was a serious accident, one that threatened my future physical abilities.  The fact that I came very close to losing the ability to walk, let alone run, is cause for me to give thanks for the ability to run and not take each mile for granted.

Tell us about your family?  My wife, Anna, and I have been married for nearly six and a half years.  We actually met in pre-school; corny story, right?  We grew-up knowing one another and reconnected in college.  She’s awesome in every way and is very supportive of my running endeavors, which is a huge blessing.  Not everyone can understand and/or appreciate when you say “Hey, I’m going to be gone for the next 2-3 hours on a training run. I hope you don’t mind!”  We don’t have any kids, yet, but we do have a dog, Basher, who’s a Miniature Schnauzer.

What is your day job?  I work for ExactTarget, an Indianapolis-based SaaS (Software as a Service) company on the Existing Business Sales team.  We work with clients of all sizes in their marketing efforts through channels like Email, Mobile, Social, and the Web.  It’s a great company and I am extremely thankful to be part of the ExactTarget team.

What is your most memorable BoMF memory?  It’s tough to pick just one memory as there have been many memorable moments.  My first run with BoMF, May 9, 2012, is pretty special, though.  As anyone entering a new community or team, there’s always a bit of hesitation and anxiety; it’s almost inevitable that you experience some sort of “me and them” type of feeling.  The special, unique thing about BoMF is that there is no “me and them.”  Sure, there are residents and non-residents.  When we gather to run, though, we’re all runners.  Honestly, it took me two weeks to figure out that one of the guys I was running with was a resident; I had no idea!  That’s a testament to the community BoMF creates.           

How did you hear about BoMF?  I heard about BoMF through Social Media.  It was early 2011 when I began seeing tweets about BoMF-Indy.  I began to research and was really intrigued with the organization.  At the time I was living in Fishers and working in Anderson, so making it downtown for the 5:45 AM runs was a logistical challenge.  I had committed in my mind, though, that when I began working downtown I would begin running with BoMF.

Why did you stick with it?  I knew before my first run with BoMF that it was something I wanted to be a part of, so it wasn’t and isn’t a hard thing to commit to.  Sure, the 4:30 AM alarm can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, but I love running – the confidence it builds, community it creates, the health benefits, etc.  I know not everyone loves running, even those that get involved with BoMF, at least initially.  I’m not sure if it’s a “gift,” but I definitely enjoy it and if I can use running to help build community with others, I’m happy and grateful to do it.

What has BoMF meant to you? Like any endeavor in life when you set out to help someone else, you end-up learning, growing, and receiving more than you thought possible.  BoMF has done just that for me.  When I began with BoMF, I thought I’d be using my love and enjoyment of running to help someone else.  While that may be true, I’ve been given much more than I could have imagined.  My time with BoMF has been humbling and enriching.  There’s nothing like a bunch of sweaty runners, standing in a circle, reciting the Serenity Prayer to remind us that we need one another in life.  Regardless of age or where our lives have taken us, we can improve not just in running, but in many aspects of life.

How is BoMF helping you with your future career?  The obstacles and life challenges that I’ve seen BoMF residents overcome (or are currently overcoming) are constant reminders that I can overcome the challenges in my life.  Whether that be work-related or not, I’m reminded of the inner strength that I believe lies within all of us.  Work presents challenges to all, but often those challenges pale in comparison to some of the “life” challenges that many deal with.  I know that with perseverance and commitment, like I’ve seen with BoMF, the goals in my life can be achieved.

Advice for people who might want to start running with BoMF?   Just Do It! (credit to Nike for that one).  If you have the slightest inclination or curiosity about BoMF, attend one of the interest meetings.  Even if you’re not a runner, we have groups that walk.  And if you’re not a walker, there are other ways to volunteer. 

Anything else you want to share with readers?  Obviously, you’ve made it this far in this Q&A and know that I love running.  I’m an advocate for BoMF, but I also realize running may not be everyone’s “thing.”  If you know what your “thing” is, though, find a way to share it with others.  Whatever it is, be it running, mentoring, or something else, it’s a gift and talent you’ve been given.  Share that with others and in the process of sharing that gift, your life will be blessed as well.