Posts Tagged Goals

I first met James last March when the Back on My Feet  journey began in Indianapolis. He was one of the  inaugural members. If one thing hasn’t changed about James in the past year, it’s his positive attitude and friendly personality. You don’t feel like a stranger when you meet him and would never guess what he happens to be overcoming in his life.

James was our first Member of the Month last March. He had already started the journey to bring him to where he is today, but since then even more has happened.

I have been fortunate enough to watch James grow throughout this process. I remember some of his first one mile runs and was honored to be able to run his first marathon with him eight short months later.

Beyond running marathons, James has accomplished several other monumental goals, since joining Back on My Feet in March 2011, he has stayed sober, quit smoking, lost weight, purchased a car, moved into his own home and started a new job at BoMF employment partner Gilchrist and Soames.

James is an active Alumni Member of the program and still runs with the team on a regular basis. He is also a strong advocate and has spoke about the program to many different companies and organizations in Indianapolis. 

James speaking as an Alumni Member to a group of AT&T employees!

“Back on My Feet was a much needed catalyst, that propelled me into the realm of self discovery and because of this I’ve allowed myself to heal and love me today.” said James “This opened other avenues by building strong relationships with BoMF staff, residents and non-residents. I can say today that I am very happy with me because of this organization.”

Feeling beat after running one mile.

Feeling fantastic on mile 25 of 26.2. NO JOKE. He was killing it. Nothing beats a good training plan!

James after completing the Monumental Full Marathon.

Before we dig into the DEEP STUFF, let’s learn some of the basics about James:

Running Shoe Size: Size 13 in Asics, 14 in Nike

Hometown/Family: I was born in Detroit, MI. When my twin brother and I were of age my Father retired from GM and moved the family to TN (where he and my mom had met) There were eight children at this time, my younger sister passed away in late June of 2002.

Favorite Restaurant: Pei Wei

Favorite Music: All kinds: Country, House (techo) and Alternative. Depends on my mood.

What brought you into Progress House? What were you overcoming?

I arrived at Progress House, homeless, no family, no friends and I was just released from prison. I had been battling a drug and alcohol addiction for the last 10 years.

Why did you join BoMF?

I joined out of curiosity for starters, I had no clue what was I was in store for. I would be lying if i did not say the incentives had a good part of my reason for joining.

What races have you completed with BoMF?

Too many to name on here! (I’m in awe of that still to this day) COMMITMENT BABY that’s what it is all about. I’ve completed a half marathon and a full marathon—– wow, two of the biggest things I’ve ever done. Number one was GETTING SOBER!

In your spare time, what do you like to do?

Listen to music, read about different religions, ride my bike and sleep.

BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals):

I have a 50K planned this summer to make it harder it’s on a trail…. to be continued. I would also like to go back to school at the start of next year, or sooner.

Over the past year, what has changed in your life?

So many things have changed this past year. After a one year stay in Prison, living in a local homeless shelter for seven days and spending an additional fourteen months at the Progress House, I now have my own place. I also have a Truck and went from no job to working two jobs! The biggest change in my life is the way I see people and situations. It like I have on a new pair of glasses!

What kinds of trials & obstacles are you still overcoming?

I’m always in a struggle with myself to do better and be better. The biggest thing I can say now is I’m trying to find that happy medium of balance. God has given me all of these great things and I’m trying to juggle them all.

What does running mean to you?

Running gives me peace of mind and serenity. It is also the place where I feel the closest to my higher power. I feel so centered after a good long run. It’s amazing.

If you could give one piece of advice to a reader who is struggling with overcoming addiction what would it be?

Stop trying to recover and RECOVER! If you can be truly honest with yourself and others and want that monkey of your back God will help you. I’m living proof of this and there are many more like me!

Do you feel like you can now be a mentor to others who are battling what you have been through?

I do! In fact I am mentoring a wonderful guy now who used to be a part of BoMF. He asked me one day if I would help him walk through life. I’ve been taught by my mentor, people in BoMF and my recovery friends to never say no to someone who wants help!

What are some accomplishments are you most proud of?

Obtaining my own place to live… I have never had my own place before.  Running a full marathon, the hard part was training for it. I would not change it for the world.

Another big step for me was the opportunity to make amends to the victim of why I went to prison. We are now the best friends we can be to each other and he is under counseling. I am truly grateful to have had this chance to be a part of the human race today, not just existing, but living.

All time favorite BoMF memory?

Beth and I were at mile nine of our first half marathon and I was losing steam. She noticed and asked me if I knew any Donna Summer songs. I said yes- “I will survive”. She took the serenity prayer and sang it to the tune of I will survive all the way home! I will never forget that, it makes me want to cry just thinking about it. That is how awesome this program has been to me. I have made great friends, forever.


Rodney grew up on the Eastside of Indianapolis and currently works for Roosa Carpet Cleaning. He has two kids, a son who is sixteen and a daughter who is eleven.

He moved to Progress House four months ago when he realized that his life was unmanageable and he needed to stop using. Soon after he moved in he noticed the Back on My Feet community joining together three days a week to circle up and run. He joined team Progress House in July and hasn’t looked back since. He has 100% attendance- hasn’t missed a single day since he started on July 7th!

He completed the Planet Adventure Eagle Creek 5K on August 7th- his first race!  This was a trail race and for those of you who have done any trail running, you know that this is much more difficult than running on the road! Rodney did a great job and even placed in his age group at the race. He had a blast running over logs and climbing the massive hills. When I asked Rodney about the race he said “It was awesome, you never knew what was coming next, it was a thrill ride, like life.”

Shoe Size: 10.5

Age: 37

Favorite Music: Heavy Metal, Typeo Negative

Favorite Athlete: My running partner Jeremy (Pictured on the left with Rodney below)

Favorite Post Run Food: Banana and Peanut Butter

Bucket List: Take a family vacation with both of my kids

Why did you join BoMF? I wanted to get in shape and thought the job training and incentives sounded like a good opportunity! I also thought it would help build my self-esteem.

What is your favorite thing about running with BoMF? Bonding with people, opening up and talking with who I’m running with. Hugging everyone.

Has running helped with staying sober? 100%, running helps. I’ve had times where I’ve thought about using and BoMF is the first thing that comes to my mind, it motivates me to stay focused. I would hate to lose the friendships I’ve made here. I enjoy running, it helps me clear my head and gives me time to pray.

What are your goals now? I have a lot of goals at this point. I want to get my GED, which is something I started a long time ago and now I’m ready to finish it. I am also training for the Back on My Feet 42K Relay and my first 1/2 marathon, the Monumental Half Marathon on November 5th. Prior to coming to live at Progress House, I earned my Commercial Drivers License, but ended up losing it due to some poor choices and that is something I would like to get back. Another lifelong dream of mine is to join the National Guard. I feel like it would be a good way to give back and also build my self confidence. Lastly I would love to take a family vacation with both of my kids.

What’s exciting in your life right now? I just talked to my eleven year old daughter for the first time ever and am really looking forward to building a relationship with her.

Lee and Lindsey share a post run smile

Running Shoe Size: 9.5

Home Town: Mt. Orab, Ohio

Fav Athlete: Pete Rose (and I’ve met him in person along with lots of other Cincinnati Reds)

Fav Music Genre: Classic Rock (Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, REO, Journey) and other artists like Air Supply and CCR

In what branch did you serve? I served in the Navy on the USS Independence.

Most memorable BoMF memory? Actually one of my best memories was from today’s run.  I ran with Lindsey this morning because we’re training extra days on Saturdays for my first half marathon in November. We had a good pace going.  I feel like I could have run more and I like that feeling. I was running good and my breathing was great. My second best memory was when I ran 5 miles in the Pogue’s Run Race with Lori back in June.  That was my longest run ever.

Why BoMF? Because:

  • I want to get into shape and live a long, healthy life.
  • I enjoy the people. Everybody is friendly and real easy to get along with. I feel like I’ve know them for years.
  • The SWAG – I like the Stuff We All Get.

What difference has BoMF made in your life? It’s made me feel healthier and helped me make new friends.  I’ve also already learned important stuff in the finance classes about how to better manage my money. I’m surprising myself. I know I’m going to make it; I’m losing the doubt.

What does Lee like to in his spare time? I go to the library and talk to my friends on Facebook especially my friends in California. I also like going to movies, especially action/suspense and sci-fi movies.

Lee’s BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) I really just want to make sensible decisions and get my priorities straight. I want to learn good money management skills and stay healthy.

Quotable Lee:“Hee hee hee, I only pick on the people I like.”  This would be after Lee sneaks up behind you and puts an ice cold water bottle on your neck after a long, hot run.

We give a runner’s salute to Lee for the laughter and joy he brings to our runs.  We admire his attention to detail and his commitment to being a part of our team.  Lee, our BoMF HVAF team would not be the same without YOU!

In Lee's first racing event with Back on My Feet, he ran five miles in the Pogue's Run Race to benefit affordable housing in Indianapolis.

What was all the buzz about at the morning runs at Progress House? last weekend’s  Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K. This was a huge weekend the men of PH , as for most of them, this was their very first race of any kind.

We talked about goals for the 3.1 miles and here’s what I hear most:

–         To run the entire race without stopping

–         To finish

–         To run in X amount of minutes

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