One of the founding YMCA members and the appointed “Running Man” of the YMCA Team, Anthony has certainly lived up to his nickname, accruing over 300 miles in 6 short months to lead the YMCA team. As the first BoMF Chicago member to receive the Member of the Month award twice (Nov. ’10 and March ’11), Anthony has joined an elite group both in miles and in spirit. Anthony’s dedication to BoMF and to running is second to none, and his presence and positive attitude have helped shape and define the YMCA team. He has done a lot in his life and views BoMF as just another stepping stone along his journey. As he would tell you:
“I was working at a church and was the chief of security with the Special Police of Chicago. I had the ability of the Chicago police working with churches. I was the sergeant and supervisor for 5 different companies. I did it for 23 years. When I was first introduced to BoMF, it started off as a challenge to me – like you can’t do it. I didn’t honestly think I could do it. But I started running, and it felt good. The miles that I accomplished, I felt good about them. And now after 6 months, I have over 300 miles. Tomorrow, I’m meeting a friend, and I challenged her to run a block like we do with the running team, and she said okay, she never tried that before.”
2011 started off strong with veteran members taking on a Saturday morning long run on the first day of the year. As Chicago plunges into a harsh winter we are still adding members to our team! It’s hard to keep this group down, even with ice and snow they are tackling mile after mile; many have received 50 mile medals and some have even passed the 100 mile mark! Aside from running there are other exciting happenings at Lawson House to report. In early January Rosetta moved into a new apartment yet is still close enough to join us on our early mornings! Keith, who had been interviewing through much of January, landed a full-time job with US Express Trucking! From running to moving to getting back in the workforce, our team has started 2011 off strong with no signs of slowing down! We’ll continue through the snow but look forward to what the warmer months will bring! Read more…
What a whirlwind this first month BOMF Chicago has had!
After kicking off BOMF’s Chicago chapter launch with an awesome turn out at the YMCA Lawson House, the Lawson House team hasn’t slowed down. We started October by joining other BOMF Chicago chapters in our first social event on Oct. 2nd. Residents and non-residents enjoyed a fun run and cook out in Columbus Park with a raffle including items from Ryan Hall and the Hall Steps Foundation.
With a location right by the four-mile marker of the Chicago Marathon, the Lawson House team had a prime spot to cheer on the 38,000+ runners. They came with shirts, signs and unlimited high-fives and encouraging cheers! Perhaps with motivation from the marathon madness, our team is already up to 3 mile runs in the quiet early morning. Though our runs are over before the sun rises it’s all smiles and chatter as we take on the streets of downtown!
Wahid Rashad, a resident and team member at our YMCA Lawson House partner facility, has been named the Chicago chapter’s October 2010 Member of the Month.
As one of our founding members, Wahid has been a constant on the team since day one — always helping to push his teammates to greater heights and new challenges.
“Back on My Feet has been a motivating factor throughout my life. It has made me more positive and upbeat. By having a goal of running, it’s made me feel more self-assured that I can accomplish any goal,” he said.
“I came to the YMCA due to economic misfortunes. I was in the mortgage industry and had a severe loss of income when the industry collapsed. I had just invested a lot of my savings into several buildings, and I wasn’t able to maintain them. I moved into the YMCA to stabilize my expenditures and begin to build myself back up again.”
Back on My Feet rang in the Holiday season last weekend at the Reindeer Run, hosted by the Lansdowne YMCA. YMCA Director Matt Wolf stepped up and offered complimentary entries to the over 50 residential Back on My Feet members who ran in the event. A huge thank you goes out to Matt Wolf and Matt Student for making BOMF participation in this event possible.
Runners at the start were greeted by snowflakes which only added to the festive feel of the race. With jingle bells on their shoes laces and final race instructions from Santa himself, the race was under-way with BOMF non-resident Peter Churchman leading the pack. The course covered a small trail section and wove it’s way through the streets of Lansdowne.
“It’s always nice to get a little ways outside the city to run” said BOMF Program Director Wylie Belasik. “Last night was our third annual Bash, however with all the excitement out here, you wouldn’t know many of us are going on little sleep!”.
In the end BOMF runners finished strongly on the 5k course, happy with another strong effort. BOMF will cool their heels for the rest of December, but look for us at the Pickle Run in January!
CLICK HERE to see pictures from the event!