Friday, March 16, 2012


Back on My Feet is a great organization that tries to help people in recovery programs, residential job training and placement programs, and homeless shelters to get "back on their feet" by using running (e.g., sticking with something, setting goals, and having a sense of accomplishment) as an example for getting their lives together in general.  Many residents of five facilities in Baltimore and other facilites around the country participate.  Many non-residents from communities come to run with the residents.

An interesting struggle that some groups have is how to make sure that everyone has someone to run with and, in particular, that every resident or at least every small group of residents has someone from the community with whom to run--at a mutually agreeable distance and pace.

Yesterday, the team I am on exchanged some emails grappling with this issue for our team.  I suggested something that surprised me.  I reflect all the time in my blog.  I reflect on all sorts of things including my motivation for running and my motivation for sharing my running.  If I need to grapple with my personal struggles over matters like this one (e.g., how to fit the principles of this organization together with my own need for training) I have an outlet.

What I suggested that surprised me is that maybe other non-residential members need an outlet as well.  Even with not everyone having a religious focus.  Even with those who have a religious focus not all having the same focus.   Reflection doesn't require religion--although it can be guided by that.  Reflection simply requires looking inward.  Exploring our motivations.  Comparing motivations now to when each person involved started the volunteer activity.  And pondering how (or even whether ) our own motivations and the organization's needs and purposes fit together.  It is probably something that volunteers in nearly every organization should do once in a while.  It will be interesting to see whether this organization finds it feasible and useful moving ahead.  

I was most surprised that I suggested this type of thing.  Not trying to push my ideas about how to run my life on others.  Just trying to share with others things that I think work. 

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