Last night I remembered why I love people so much. 

People have more strength than you think they do. People are good if you give them the benefit of the doubt.

Even when they’ve messed up. A lot.

Even when they’ve been mean. Even when they’ve done nearly unforgivable things.

Last night at the Back on My Feet Birthday Fundraising Dinner, I sat next to a father of three, a former stock broker, a veteran of the United States military.

Somehow they all ended up homeless – or nearly – addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Last night with Larry, Carol, Marvin, George, Matt, Sam, Me

But then they decided to do something better.

And every day it’s a battle. Everyday, you have to say no again.

Every day, you have to get out of bed and face the world without your “pain medication.” But they keep doing it.

Even when they didn’t say no until they were 50. Even when they can barely pay the rent (yet!). Even when this is their fifth time getting clean. They keep doing it.

I admire them. I believe in them. I’m privileged to run with them.

They are black and I am white. They come from the rough neighborhoods, I don’t. They didn’t have fathers, I did. They don’t have anyone to fall back on if this time doesn’t catch.

But we are the same. We want the same things out of life: love, hope, joy, laughter, friendship. We are the same because we run.

We run out the hard moments, even in silence, soak the cold days into our bones. We feel inspired and confident with every breath — when our fingers go numb and our noses run. Or when it’s so hot you need a new water bottle every mile.

George ran the DC Rock n’ Roll FULL Marathon two weeks ago. He wore his medal to dinner. I thought that was a fabulous idea!

People can be better when they run.

Anne Mahlum knew that when she put her whole life out there to create Back on My Feet. Her gut instinct has been a smashing success.

Hundreds of men and women have come through program stronger, better, more confident and with a running family to call their own.

There are a million ways to help others. There’s no better way than to give them part of yourself.

Some people have never had that before. Money is money but friendship and genuine kindness is priceless.

Back on My Feet is the real thing. I’m just a volunteer but this is how much I believe in BoMF. I matters.  Join us. 

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