Jake Gamberg first heard about Back on My Feet from an old school friend, BoMF NYC volunteer, Alfia. She told him about her experience volunteering, and Jake figured it sounded like something he should give a try. After his volunteer orientation he woke up bright and early, got ready for his first BoMF run, and headed out the door… all before the sun was even up. “I was nervous to meet a new group of people, but within the first couple of blocks of running, I felt completely relaxed.” Jake ran with now BoMF alumnus, Eric, and they spent the hour chatting about soccer, running and the beauty of the city as the sun rose. Before he knew it, they were at the closing circle and the run was over.
From that first run on, Jake was all in. Jake has been an all-star volunteer for Team Bowery and a support in many ways for his fellow teammates. He originally started training with Back on My Feet for the 2018 TCS NYC Marathon without intention of running the race, but just to spend more time with the BoMF circle!
One Saturday morning, after the first training run, one of his teammates, a BoMF alumnus, told him a story about how she, herself had raised money for an aids walk, and how thankful she was for the opportunity to give back in that way. The idea of fundraising seemed daunting to Jake and was really what had held him back from jumping in and signing up to run the race. “After talking to Lilli, I looked up and saw an entire group of people, all setting out to achieve a goal that may be outside their comfort zone. In that moment, I knew I would be in good hands and have the support of a great community to help “me” achieve an uncomfortable goal.” Not only was he struck with excitement about this new goal, but he also loved that FundRacing for BoMF would give him the perfect platform to share with his family and friends the work that Back on My Feet does.
Jake has loved training with Back on My Feet to get to his goal of 26.2. “I love the camaraderie and support everyone has for each other. No matter how hard it is to get to a run, I know I will feel much better and energized after. An hour or two and a couple of miles with this group will do wonders.” This rings true for Jake through every mile and every training run. In fact, if you ask him for one of his favorite BoMF memories, he’ll mention the 14-mile run in the pouring rain. By the end, everyone was soaking wet, but that didn’t get rid of their smiles. Just being with each other through the whole experience made it memorable.
To Jake, this group of teammates is what running a marathon is all about. “Running a marathon is about integrity. Integrity in pushing yourself towards a goal, putting the work in, and actually achieving it. It is a long journey filled with runs, strength training, recovery, and most importantly a group of people all trying to achieve a similar goal.” Jake decided to run the 2018 TCS NYC Marathon because there was no one else he’d rather share this experience with then his BoMF teammates who have inspired him for years.
Jake’s support as a volunteer and friend is something that his BoMF teammates are thankful for every day, and as a FundRacer, Jake has seen his own support system give back to his BoMF community as well. “The experience of FundRacing is really moving. It makes you realize the amount of support you have in your own life and how important it is to pay that forward.” We are thankful for you, Jake. We will be cheering you on, on November 4th & every day!