No better way to start the day

You’d think I’d be burnt out from running, right? Not so much. In fact, any day the sun is out and air is clean, I’m dying to bust into a run. I hadn’t planned on any this week, though. These legs should take a well-deserved break! But — then I remembered my commitment to begin running with Back on My Feet.

The group I run with, Clean and Sober Streets, meets literally feet from a major DC homeless shelter — as well as the facility for this team. I wasn’t expecting to be so in the thick of it but there we were. I was immediately reminded of how “down on your luck” can turn into something far more serious for some. We were really a spectacle — peppy, happy runners doing jumping jacks and stretches in the cool November morning darkness.

But, there is no better way to start a morning. You welcome the day with smiling faces, grateful hearts, able bodies and praise for God. If you don’t know, each BOMF morning run starts with someone yelling, “Who woke us up this morning?” and the group yells back, “God!” and then immediately delves into the Serenity Prayer:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Sign for the center this BOMF location works with.

I ran with the 3-mile group and it literally felt like nothing. It was by far the easiest run I’ve ever done, as I enjoyed talking with someone and remembering what morning runs in DC, on the National Mall, felt like. As an intern five years ago living on Capitol Hill, I frequently ran down the mall but it has been so long. I love it.

After the run, we waited for all the groups to come back in. We stretched and laughed and at the end, came together for a group hug, said the Serenity Prayer again and put our hands for a loud declaration of “Back on My Feet!”

I was in a rush after the group to get home and change for work but a woman (not with the group) stopped me, asking if we were running another marathon (after MCM this weekend). I said no and she told me it was dangerous for us to be meeting here by the shelter. She then started telling me about how she was homeless unexpectedly and mentioned that most of the people around the area have mental issues. She assured me she had all of her mental capacity — but I honestly wasn’t sure. I really needed to go but I felt a voice in my head saying “Love her, love her, love her.”

I spoke with her for a few minutes as she told me about having a rough time in life. Then, I asked her if she ever prayed about it. She said yes, but that, you know, it’s not like magic. I agreed and told her she shouldn’t give up on it.

At this point I had to get going but I was glad I had a chance to talk to her. I told her to have a good day and that it was nice to meet her. I hope that she felt a little bit of God’s love today — that was the silent prayer I prayed in our conversation. I know that it was His voice saying, so quietly, “Love her.” And, I hope somehow, some way, that’s what I did.

*Both photos were taken from the BOMF Picasa page. 

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