I was a drug dealer, and I got incarcerated.
When I came out, I was like there's no way I'm gonna get a second chance or get a job.
I'm trying to achieve and running is part of my way of getting there.
This Great Big Story was made possible by Dignity Health.
Hello, human kindness.
My name is Manuel Navarro, and I am a runner with Back On My Feet.
Back On My Feet is an organization that helps people fight homelessness;
and at this point in my life, the lowest point in my life, that's where I'm at;
and it's helping me be successful and achieve everything I wanna achieve the right way.
My name is Pete Roller, and I'm a volunteer and board member with Back On My Feet.
Manny and I have been running together for nine months.
We run three mornings a week at 5:45 in the morning.
Back On My Feet is a national non-profit that works with individuals who are experiencing homelessness or in some stage of recovery
and provides a hand up to employment and housing and independence through community and fitness.
Running is a really nice complement to recovery for many of our members.
Running, in particular, provides the physical release.
For a lot of us, we're replacing negativity.
Those three mornings a week are the three mornings where they know they can come and be supported by the rest of the group
and really feel good about themselves because whatever comes in between that is gonna be much harder;
and Back On My Feet provides the link for them to successfully continue that recovery.
I know it works because the changes in the individuals, members, volunteers, myself are visible, and they're tangible.
For our members, it allows them to feel human again, and I've seen countless members just blossom.
When they come to the morning circle, they're just another runner.
Who are we? Back On My Feet.
我们是谁? “我康复了”会员 。
Where we from? San Francisco.
How far we gonna run? Forever.
I hated running, but now I love running.
I mean, just the community; they make you feel very welcome.
They're really there to help you, to embrace you
and to support the fact that you're trying to be successful in life and trying to do something right.
And the connection that me and Pete have is amazing.
I never had real friends before.
In the drug business you don't trust anybody, and here I am trusting.
He's always telling me how I could do better and pushing me to do better
and that's good because he's there to support me, and I think we all deserve a second chance, and I'm taking it.