Back on My Feet
This morning while out for my Christmas Eve run, I took notice of something that although I see quite often, was particuarly clear today. It seemed to me (and maybe it was just because nobody else was out on the streets), that there were more homeless people in the streets than a normal Monday morning. It was sad but I made a point to smile and greet everyone I saw. During my runs through Raleigh I often times see the same homeless people and I wonder what might happen if I stopped and started a conversation. What if I took time to learn someone else’s story? All of these thoughts this morning reminded me of an awesome nonprofit that we ran a race for a few years ago… Back on My Feet.
Founded by Anne Mahlum in 2007, Back on My Feet (BoMF) is a national nonprofit organization that is dedicated to creating independence and self-sufficiency within the homeless and other underserved populations by first engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. The organization does not provide food nor shelter, but instead provides a community that embraces equality, respect, discipline, teamwork and leadership.
Every July Back on My Feet sponsors the 20in24 Challenge. It is a 24 hour event that includes relay races of different distances as well as an ultra marathon. It takes place in Philadelphia and is basically an 8.4 mile loop around a park. In 2010, I particpated in the Gold Level Relay Challenge. As a team, our goal was to run 126 miles, 25.2 miles per person. We actually came in second place and it was by far the most fun I’ve ever had at a race. We always talk about doing it again but schedules never seem to work out or we can’t get enough people. Personally, I would like to compete in the Platinum Level Challenge which means each person runs 33.6 miles for a total of 168 miles, and all in under 24 hours.
Back on My Feet is a great organization that uses running as a tool to empower people. As a teacher, I believe in empowerment as a tool to create a better life for oneself. I was greatly reminded of that this morning.
Anyone care to join me in July?
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Running Update: This may sound weird, but I ran a beautiful six miles this morning. There were hardly any cars on the street and very few people out and about. I felt great but tried not to push the pace. Since I didn’t take my day off yesterday and I have a speed workout tomorrow, I wanted to make sure I felt rested. Stats are here.