Posts Tagged Back on My Feet

Pack the yogurt covered pretzels, sketch out the perfect indie playlist and grab the “run buddies” for a weekend in Austin. The Back on My Feet in24 Austin Race Challenge Presented by Ace Cash Express will have four unique races over the course of 48 hours that you’ll regret you missed. In24 takes place May 11th and 12th in Austin.

Besides racing for an incredible local cause, this weekend has something for everyone!

Five-Person Relay Challenge – Instead of competing against your friends, compete with them! This race offers options ranging from 5 to 30 miles per person. So pick your dose of crazy and loop the Camp with your friends after some classic Austin breakfast tacos (but before your dip in Barton Springs).

Sunset Run – Nothing is more satisfying than racing and beating the crap out of your friends during a legendary Hill Country sunset. This 5-mile race starts at 7:00 p.m. and ends with a pretty cool party. Stop by the beer garden post-race, stay for food from Austin’s legendary food trailers and check out groovy tunes that only the live music capitol of the world can provide…. all at in24!

Pajama Loop Run – Let’s hope you don’t sleep naked! Runners are encouraged to roll out of bed and stay in their pajamas for this 7:00 a.m. race around the 5-mile loop at Camp Mabry. This race for early risers has some serious prize money to be won!

LoneRanger Ultra-Marathon – The Lone Ranger is a true test for any long-distance runner who has tackled a marathon and is looking for something more. Challenge your will by running as many 5-mile loops inside Camp Mabry in the allotted 24-hour time period.

Whether friendly competition or changing perception is your motivation for running, we want you at in24 Austin. And here’s the best part – a hot discount!

We’re proud to be partnering with the Fairfield Inn & Suites Austin North/Parmer Lane. The hotel is just 15 minutes away from Camp Mabry. Runners who reserve their room before April 23, 2013 and use the promotional code bombomb when making their reservation get a discount. Camping at Camp Mabry is also welcome.

April showers haven’t stopped these Members from running and improving their lives one step at a time! Their endurance and perseverance is down right inspiring.

jasonsmith Jason Smith, Non-Residential Members, Dallas LIFE
“I love being a part of Back on my Feet for a lot of reasons. The diverse stories across all members is refreshing. The confidence building, hope and determination is motivating. It’s a truly heart touching organization. I’m so proud and grateful to be a Member.”
BOMF(Dallas_Chapter)green Albert, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Albert joined the Dallas LIFE Back on My Feet family about a month ago and has been committed ever since!  He has maintained high attendance while participating in the nine month program at Dallas LIFE.  Albert has brought honesty and positivity to the team!
melissawaters Melissa Waters, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“I started running only about four years ago. Once I developed this running habit and ran a race or two, I realized that there are very few things in life that can make you feel more encouraged, positive, and confident than reaching running goals. I feel that being able to run is a gift from God that I never knew was there. Now that I know, I want to share it! I love Back on My Feet because I get to do that very thing. Everyone needs some encouragement at some point in life. BoMF is a great way to encourage others and help them develop the confidence to get back on their feet. And It’s fun!”
BOMF(Dallas_Chapter)green Katherine, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Katherine is going three months strong as a dedicated member of the Salvation Army team! Since day one, Katherine has never missed a single run! She has challenged herself to start running and is making great strides towards accomplishing that goal!  
ginger Ginger Becker, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“Many people falling on hard times in their lives lose confidence in their abilities to succeed. And it’s completely understandable. We help people get through these trying times by giving them tools to succeed and providing important social integration through running. It’s through running that a person can learn a lot about themselves. These lessons in building physical and mental endurance, learning to push yourself beyond what you thought is possible, and even proper breathing technique easily translates to every day survival skills in life.”
claudis Claudis, Residential Member, The Bridge
Claudis has been a part of the Back on My Feet family for about a month and has had a smile on his face the entire time!  He brings such a positive spirit to Team bridge!  Claudis has challenged himself and has gone from not being able to run much at all to almost running 2 miles in the past month!  He has shown his commitment through 100% attendance and is the first to volunteer when given the opportunity.  He is an inspiration to many and on his way to his first 5K in the coming months!
jeffkuhn Jeff Kuhn, Non-Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
I love Back on My Feet because I truly believe that taking those first couple of steps to improve oneself is the hardest part to changing. I have truly enjoyed becoming part of the BoMF Family and enjoy my Wednesday’s Runs.”

barry Barry, Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
While Barry has served our country and survived a difficult past, he is looking towards his future! Barry has maintained 95% attendance with the Veterans team and is looking forward to moving out of the facility. Barry is the first to crack a joke, just ask his teammates!

dallas

Back on My Feet staff wanted to share this inspirational story of Tina (name changed) a Residential Member with Team Bridge in Dallas to show the collaborative effort required to assist individuals to self-sufficiency. While running is a huge piece of what we do, much more goes on behind the scenes…

This is her story as told by Dennis Strickland, The Bridge’s Homeless Recovery Manager -

Tina has experienced much in her 24 years before becoming homeless and showing up at The Bridge. She came to us in August of 2011, did intake and was referred to Austin Street Center for shelter. She enrolled in our care management and we started to learn more about her: With an 11th grade education and limited skills, she had resorted to prostitution on the streets.

There was also a history of hospitalizations at Terrell State Hospital. She had a schizoaffective diagnosis, but at the time of her intake she was not receiving treatment; we linked her to LifeNet Clinic at the Bridge.

Tina has come a long way. Following months of care management, and with her behavioral health care intact, Tina was moved to our Transitional Shelter and encouraged to join Back on My Feet (BoMF) for both physical exercise and peer mentoring. She has done well with that program.

Her BoMF case manager reports,

She has gone from being very timid, shy and closed off to one who has been committed, engaged and the first to give her morning hug to our members! I know Tina has been through a lot, and I am so encouraged by her commitment to our team. Her smile gives me hope and I believe she is making strides towards a bright future.

Tina has most recently become job ready, working with the on-site Texas Workforce team. She has just obtained part-time employment, but has aspiration for more. Tina is not home, yet, but we believe she is very close to finding her way home. Our partnership is making it possible for our Guests like Tina to recover from homelessness.

Back on My Feet is honored to be a part of Tina’s recovery!

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Erika and Joe!

Shoe Size? 9

Favorite post run food? I would have to say pizza.

Why do you run? I love how running makes me feel happy.

How many marathons/half marathons/5ks have you done? I just completed my 10th marathon in November!

Favorite race you’ve ever done? My favorite race is Tecumseh Trail Marathon because it was my first full marathon, plus I’m a big fan of trail running!

Bucket list item you plan to cross off soon? I would like to someday finish a half Ironman distance triathlon.

Favorite music? Christian and Pop/Rock.

Favorite vacation spot? Anywhere warm and near the ocean!

Family? I have one younger brother who runs the Indy Mini with me every year along with our mom. My dad isn’t a runner, but enjoys walking his dog.

How did you hear about BoMF? What has BoMF meant to you? Why did you stick with it? I heard about BoMF from a friend at church who is a non-resident runner, Andy Chandler. Andy mentioned BoMF several times and I finally went to a meeting to see what it was all about. BoMF has shown me how the power of community can help us become better people. Alone, we’d probably not be exercising outside in the early hours of the morning or building these friendships. However, together, we are able to become healthier physically, as well as emotionally. I stick with it because I am always in a better mood after running with BoMF!

What is your favorite memory of a time with BoMF so far? I remember one morning last spring we were running downtown from Warman and saw a mouse! I don’t want to name any names, but the little mouse really frightened one resident!

Advice for people who might want to start running with BoMF? I think that the most important thing to remember is always give your best. This is easier said than done, but I know that most of us are stronger than we think!

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Circle up with Mike, Erika, Barb, and Joe on a freezing cold race day!

Written from the perspective of and by Kathryn Fernandez, Non-Residential Member

 

             Saturday morning at 8:00 am I made the brisk walk to House of Passage, a shelter for single women, just a half mile from my apartment in West Philly.  I was showing up this Saturday morning to ride with the House of Passage Back on My Feet team to the annual Pickle Run, a 5k run known for its hidden pickle prizes. The race is unique because the end goal isn’t to have the fastest time, but instead, to finish as close to your predicted time as possible (nobody is permitted to wear watches).  I had the opportunity to see the House of Passage team launch, and I have done my best to attend the occasional morning run for the last few months but I typically meet new Residential Members every time I attend an event. This morning was the same, I showed up early and sat down at a picnic table next to two women wearing Back on My Feet clothing. I wasn’t sure if they were Residential Members or Non-Residential Members, a perfect example of how everyone appears wonderfully equal when they’re wearing their running sneaks.  I started talking to Melinda, whom I quickly discovered was a Residential Member running her first 5k. She was talking quickly and excitedly and it was obvious she was nervous. She said she hadn’t slept all night, she was worried she wouldn’t finish the race and would disappoint the team, but I think, she was worried about disappointing herself. She kept saying, “I’m just going to do my best.”  She also remarked that she was nervous she would end up running alone or holding other runners back from doing well. How ironic that she was worrying about running alone and my greatest fear was not finding a partner to run with myself. I told her that I would run with her the whole time and that I was relieved to have a partner. We started the race a few hours later, after a twisty half an hour ride in a packed van, and a team leader dressed as a pickle (I’m not fibbing), and an hour long wait in the 36 degree, sunny but freezing cold day.  The beginning of races are always exciting and everyone runs too fast, accelerated by their adrenaline and the spectator’s cheers. Melinda was short of breath at first and idle chitchat was not a priority. Of course, I just chattered away, I was hoping to distract her, but probably I just like to talk too much. Finally, when she settled into a good pace we were able to converse, and I discovered Melinda had never walk/ran more than a mile. Her estimated finish time was 60 minutes. I was pretty surprised considering we were walking and running at a pretty consistent pace, and Melinda seemed to be doing great. We kept our eyes out for hidden pickles along the way, but alas, we never found one. The halfway turnaround seemed to come fairly quickly, and the horrible hill didn’t really seem so horrible. Melinda was slowing down, just a little, and she was concerned she wouldn’t make 60 minutes. I laughed and said, “Melinda I will be surprised if it takes you longer than 45 minutes”. She didn’t believe me. Not long after we saw the Back on My Feet volunteers holding up signs for Melinda and cheering us along. Melinda had even invited her friend to come and cheer, and what a great choice of support because she had an impressive set of pipes. The finish line was in sight! Melinda, amongst cheers from the team, a team leader dressed as a pickle, and with her new friend, crossed the finished line, with tears in her eyes. Her first words, “I did my best” I turned her around and said, “look at the time!” She had finished in 39 minutes! It is amazing how proud of someone you can feel, even after only having known them for a couple of hours. The best part…during the awards ceremony Melinda was the most improved on her predicted time, the prize… a jar of pickles.

 

Pickle Run

The Prize!

The Prize!

 

This year at Back on My Feet Philadelphia’s holiday party the annual talent show is becoming an exciting and valuable tradition. We would like to share a particularly special talent shared by one of our resident members. Antwan B. composed and performed a rap about his experience with Back on My Feet, below we would like to share his lyrics.

 

Antwan performing his rap

Antwan performing his rap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trust

Trust I’mma let the truth be told

Trust that I will never bend, break or fold

Trust that I will never live in the cold

Since I met Back on My Feet

Gradually ya man is Back on his Feet

Tragically I had to endure some bad situations

But nevertheless I’m still out here motivated

Racing to the finish line, yea, the prize is mine

I’m in my prime, like Optimus Prime

But, this is not a cartoon

These streets can suck you in, just like a vacuum

or like a toilet in a bathroom

Killing you with bad fumes

So I suggest I get my A Game!

Straight like Kobe Bryant on a fast break

I have to penetrate my adversaries

The clock is ticking, the cops are riffing,the glock is spitting,

A young thug gets dropped, no pitty

See this is what I see in my cityof Brotherly Love,

you can see a brother get slugged

So I try to avoid these circumstances

And Back on My Feet they gave me second chances

Trust I’mma let the truth be told

Trust I will never bend, break or fold

Trust I will never leave you in the cold.

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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!

Let’s get a new year off to a great start! These Members have gone above and beyond the regular M/W/F runs and shown us the spirit of Back on My Feet!

adam Adam Rubin, Non-Residential Members, Dallas LIFE
“I love Back on My Feet because it’s really the perfect way to start off the day. Every morning run with Dallas LIFE is a truly energizing experience – everyone’s so positive and encouraging, it’s infectious. And if someone is having a rough morning, everyone else is there for support. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have met my teammates – they’re such an inspiring group of people. Often times after runs, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to give back as much as I’ve gotten out of this experience. Back on My Feet is a very special organization, and I’m honored to be a small part of it.”
Christopher, Residential Member, Dallas LIFE
Christopher is a great team member! Christopher joined Back on My Feet in November 2012 and has attended every class available. He is currently looking for employment and enjoying leading his team with a positive attitude. Way to go Christopher!
Raul Serrano, Non-Residential Member, Salvation Army
“I like coming out to see the smiling faces and welcoming arms from both Residential and Non-Residential Members alike. Everyone always seems honestly happy to be there and glad I’m there with them. Running is something I would do on my own but it’s better when I’m there.”
vanessa Vanessa, Residential Member, Salvation Army
Vanessa has volunteered on multiple occasions at races where we depended on volunteers. She has attended all of the Financial Literacy classes and loves coming to the monthly computer courses. However, Virginia’s greatest accomplishment to date is gaining new employment in January 2013!
Natalie Avis Natalie Avis, Non-Residential Member, The Bridge
“I love that through Back on My Feet I have the opportunity to meet wonderful people from all kinds of backgrounds and life situations. My teammates are always supportive and full of positive energy, even at 5:45 am! After every run I am encouraged to be a better and healthier person, and I love seeing the accomplishments of Team Bridge, both Residential and Non-Residential Members.”
Theresa, Residential Member, The Bridge
Theresa pushes herself despite a foot injury. Always ready for a hug and consistently smiling, Theresa loves the fact that Back on My Feet has helped her meet new friends!
 bryan Bryan Cathey, Non-Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
“I love to run and I love to help people. A friend told me about Back on My Feet and it seemed like a perfect marriage of the two. I had no idea I would actually look forward to waking up at 4 AM three times a week but I do – and running with the VA team has quickly become a very meaningful part of my life. Back on My Feet is an amazing organization that allows me to give back in some small measure what was so freely given to me during my own personal struggles.”
Mike, Residential Member, Veterans Affairs
While not the loudest Member of the team, Mike reservedly supports his teammates, Back on My Feet and staff. He has offered to go above and beyond the usual Member expectations on numerous occasions. We are very proud of his success and look forward to seeing Mike run towards his goals!

Jay


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 

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”

On November 10th, Back on My Feet Philadelphia participated, once again, in the 11th annual Burlington River Run 5K.  This year was a great success!  Our newest team from House of Passage participated in this year’s run and it was the ladies first race with Back on My Feet. Team leader Chakir remarks, “It was a very successful day down at Burlington, New Jersey.  Every one of the ladies ran their hearts out and I’m proud of their effort and performance. I am so excited and honored to be featured along side some amazing ladies! I’m all smiles!”

Executive Director, Jill Fink, tells the story of Residential Member, Yasmeen, in her letter of thanks to Doane Academy.  “Yasmeen joined BoMF in early October.  She is a Resident at the House of Passage facility and a Member of our all-women’s team.  This was her first race and you can tell by the picture of her at the finish line, the sense of joy and accomplishment she felt in completing the race. You’ll also see that she pinned a photo of her mother to her bib and was very emotional at the end of race, wishing that her mom could have been there to share in the moment with her.”

Doane Academy, the Burlington and Camden Counties YMCA, and the Rotary Club of Burlington work together to present this event, and each year a portion of the proceeds are given to Back on My Feet.  As we enter into the holiday season we can’t help but feel thankful to have partnerships with organizations like Doane Academy that provide our members with these enriching experiences.

Below are some pictures of our group participating in the 5k and of Yasmeen’s emotional finish.