|BOMF DC in the 2010 Fannie Mae HTH Walkathon|
Last weekend at the Help the Homeless Walkathon, there was a large and enthusiastic group (800+ to be exact) from Back on My Feet, "a nonprofit organization that promotes the self-sufficiency of homeless populations by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.
"Back on My Feet... does not provide food nor does it provide shelter, but instead provides a community that embraces equality, respect, discipline, teamwork and leadership. Back on My Feet is much more than just running. It is a comprehensive program that offers connections to job training, employment and housing, but these benefits are not free. Members earn the opportunity to move forward in the six month to nine month program by maintaining a 90 percent attendance rate at the morning runs three days a week"
First of all, we think this concept is pretty awesome. We found our newest inspiration in Eric Fair, a homeless man and Back on My Feet team member who recently completed the Philadephia marathon. He was a promising athlete in his high school days, but drugs and a number of other stumbling blocks got in his way. In an effort to piece his life back together, he began training with Back on My Feet - and though we haven't been able to confirm it just yet, it looks like he completed the race in 3:49:32.
An impressive time? Obviously. But it's even more astounding when you consider everything Eric had (and still has) to overcome just to be able to run...
"His years of drug use have ravaged his body, leaving him with high blood pressure, kidney problems and a slew of other health concerns, but he says he always feels good when he is running."
His doctor was clearly worried about his decision to run the marathon, but his response to those concerns won't be easy to forget...
"I have to [run]. After all that I've been through, I would rather die on my feet than sit on my butt."
We are extremely thankful for organizations like Back on My Feet and inspirational runners out there like Eric Fair. Thank you for reminding us to stop making excuses and start focusing.