The last Friday of the month is team meeting day for BoMF. So, instead of running, the res guys have a big team meeting. Attendance at the meeting is optional for volunteers, as is running afterwards. Even though the practices are optional, and opting out is a very attractive idea when the alarm goes off at 5:00am, I absolutely love team meeting Fridays. Here's a run-down:
Brian, the Program Director for the Indianapolis chapter, runs the meetings.
First, we go over the schedule for the upcoming month. Today, this included the
Monumental Marathon (and affiliated races), the Drumstick Dash (a Thanksgiving Day Race), a financial literacy course (required for res guys before they can access more than $50 of their stipends), volunteering to stuff race bags for the Drumstick Dash and an Accenture job skills training seminar for the res guys to work on their resumes and interviewing skills (the job skills training seminars cover a variety of topics and the res guys are required to attend at least three different seminars). The res guys take studious notes during the schedule announcements because they have to make sure that they know the times and places of events that they are required to attend. I like to see them all being so diligent.
Next, we go through the incentives that the res guys have earned in the previous month. Today, this included t-shirts for the guys who had reached the milestone of 25 miles, medals for the guys who had run a total of 50 miles, sweatshirts for the guys who had reached 300 miles, and digital cameras for the guys who had reached 500 miles. Brian announces the recipient and the award and everyone claps while the recipient goes up to get his award. Hugging Brian and smiling is required in order to collect an award, but we've found that the guys can't help but do this anyway. The awards mean so much to the guys. They wear their hats and t-shirts so proudly, and one of the guys told me this morning that he had been waiting for weeks for his medal and that he had a place on his wall picked out where he was ready to hang it.
Finally, we go through the celebrations. This includes birthdays and such, but this is mostly about sobriety milestones. Guys who have reached milestones like 60 days or 90 days or 6 months make an announcement and everyone congratulates them. This part always blows me away. I am always surprised at how recently these guys have become sober or clean and, thus, how recently they were using. Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming for guys who have been struggling a lot and it can be really emotional for them to celebrate a success like this. I always feel honored to be a part of the team meetings and to get to share these moments with the team.
We ran 3 miles after the team meeting today, and I felt like they were a little more meaningful having just seen the reasons that we all show up and do it.