Back on My Feet

It’s rare that I choose a race based on the charity it supports; I’ve never raised money for a race, or trained with a group that does so. Most of the time I sign up for the swag, the location, or the route our feet will stomp through. I train with one main focus – get across the finish line!

And be coherent enough to snap a Garmin shot afterward, too.

5.3 013020DenverRnRwkend 065

I’ve only ever run for myself. I’ve only used it as an activity I enjoy with friends, with my own mind, with my music, or with the city I want to explore.

All of this to say, my running and I are a little bit selfish. Now, we’ve met a new group of people who might be changing all of that. They might just flip this running thing upside down, giving these feet a different kind of goal to land on.


Today I’ll be spending hours with the crew behind the DC chapter of Back on My Feet (BoMF – not to be confused with BAMF, even though they are). I’ll be learning the ins and outs of what they do on a daily basis, in addition to what they’re doing as an organization. If you haven’t heard of them yet, I’m already doing my ‘job’ – they can be found in seven major cities: Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, DC, Dallas, Indianapolis, Atlanta and Philadelphia (where it all started).

Founded by Anne Mahlum in 2007, Back on My Feet is a nonprofit organization that promotes the self-sufficiency of those experiencing homelessness by engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. Back on My Feet (BoMF) does not provide food nor does it provide shelter, but instead provides a community that embraces equality, respect, discipline, teamwork and leadership. All members – regardless of race, education or socioeconomic status – join together to move their own lives forward as well as the lives of their teammates.

The DC & Baltimore chapters recently participated in the local Ragnar series – these runners know how to take on a challenge!

Tomorrow night, I’ll be at the orientation for Team Leaders. In the next 48 hours, I’ll realize that this running thing could do a lot more than just get me up before 6 a.m., fill my laundry basket with sweaty clothes or fuel a lifestyle that I’m totally in love with. There’s a lot more out there to be seen, heard and experienced – I want in!


Are you a volunteer for any type of organization around you?
If you could choose a non-profit to join, which one would it be?

I’ve always had an eye on Girls on the Run, and that’s  still on ‘the list’!



Filed under about me, DC, inspiration, new things!

20 responses to “Back on My Feet

  1. I learned about BOMF when I lived outside Philly and wanted to volunteer, but it didn’t end up working out. Sounds likea great organization!

  2. For some reason I have not been able to get your page to load in a long time, so I am so happy it is working for me now. BoMF sounds amazing. I would love to get invovled with that. I’ve thought of GOTR too.

  3. leah

    I would love to run with BOMF but the chapers in DC are either not close to my place.. or in a not great area that I don’t want to run through alone to get there, which is sad cause its a great organization! If you can convince them to start a group closer to metro center (or McPherson SQ) where there are still shelter/homeless populations 🙂

  4. I’ve got my eye on GotR, too. One of these days…

    Let me know how BoMF goes!

  5. joslynn

    I RUN WITH BOMF! I love it. The 5:15 AM running took a while to get use to in -5 degree weather in the winter up here in Boston. But seeing how the non-residents feel after running their first mile…priceless. I hope you enjoy it! Let me know how it goes! I’m a charity MCM runner for BOMF this year. So great to hear your giving back to the community!

    • Heather C

      Ah, I can only imagine waking up that early in the Boston winter! I’m impressed that the runs go year long – that’s an amazing commitment from both sides.

      Let me know when you’re here for MCM!

  6. So awesome, Heather! I would love to run with Team in Training, or another group that is supporting a cause. I’d also love to volunteer with Girls on the Run after reading so much about the positive experiences people have. Looking forward to reading more about your experience. 🙂

  7. That sounds like an awesome charity/cause to get involved with – have fun!!

    I have done some fundraising although I have never been directly involved with a charity. It would be so rewarding!

  8. this is a great event Heather! such an amazing Team. I love the cause and I can’t wait to see how it inspires you, cause then it will ultimately inspire us!

  9. Mamacita

    What a great organization – anxious to hear more about your time with this group. Love, Mamacita

  10. AWESOME. For a long time I’ve wanted to be a team leader but it’s never fit my current schedule of being injured. HAVE FUN!

  11. Lauren

    This is really neat. 🙂 You are going to be a great asset to them!

  12. I think joining a running organization would be a lot of fun. Normally I am a very selfish runner but I think it would be great to do something I love in a way that can benefit other people! It would also be a really fun way to meet other individuals with common interests.

  13. Have fun at the orientation! That sounds cool!

  14. I always love hearing from tina – carrots n cake about her experience with them. I hope you had a great time! It seems like a great organization.

  15. Sal

    So awesome! Absolutely love everything about BOMF. Can’t wait to hear about it!

  16. Jenn

    I’m so happy you will be doing things with Back on my Feet. I just ran the DC Ragnar and love the fact that money from the race supports the organization and that Back on my Feet had a team. I

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