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BOMF: Good things happen to those who run

August 17, 2010

Good things happen to those who run. If you’re a runner, then you know this is true. Running improves fitness, longer life, sense of accomplishment, friendship building, etc. Yeah – we all know this. Even non-runners know this. So, what’s the point of this post? I’ll tell you ’cause I’m really excited to share this info.

There is an organization that take this concept of “good things happen to those who run” a step (actually a giant leap) further. I was contacted last Friday by Andrew Dawson from Back on My Feet (BOMF). I am familiar with the organization having read about it previously. If you never have heard of them, you really must visit their website at backonmyfeet.org. There are many offices around the country with more to open soon. Andrew works in the DC office — dc.backonmyfeet.org.

We traded emails and scheduled a phone meeting for this morning. This is definitely one call I was really glad to take this morning.

People are aware that the number of homeless people in America has risen, especially since the economic downturn. Many want to help, but are unsure how. BOMF is definitely an organization that wants to be part of the solution and they do it in an nontraditional, but successful way.

BOMF is a non-profit that “promotes the self-sufficiency of homeless populations by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem.” However, they don’t provide food or shelter. Instead they are focused on community building by embracing “equality, respect, discipline, teamwork and leadership.”  Their approach starts with running, but it’s really multi-pronged. The members, as program participants are called, also participate in a program that includes making connections in job training, employment and housing.

So where does the running enter into the picture? Anyone who runs knows you have to commit to a running program. Most training plans include a minimum of 3 days per week of training. If you’re running in a race, then you may have to train more, but to achieve and maintain a certain level, most agree that 3 times per week is the minimum.

BOMF uses this concept and the members can only participate in the second part of the program by committing to run 3 days per week and maintaining a 90 percent attendance for the duration of the 6 to 9 month long program. The runs are at 5:45 am! Anyone who is committed enough to get up that early to run will definitely be committed enough to be successful in the rest of the program.

Ok, I hear you – that’s great, but what can I do? Lots! There are local events on the website. Participate, volunteer, donate money, donate time, donate your expertise, come to events, tweet about it, post about them on Facebook, become a Facebook fan, tell your friends, tell everybody. Every little bit helps.

The next DC event is their August 28 “All Feet On Deck” Fun Run. It’s a 5k-ish run followed by fun, pizza and a pool party. You can sign up on their website by clicking on the link in the above. Go to the other BOMF local website for information about other events.

I’m glad to be apart of this amazing organization. I hope you will participate too. Rock it out people!

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