I used to hate mornings, especially when it was still cold and dark outside.  I just wanted to curl up in my blanket and go back to sleep.

The Skid Row Running Club turned me into a 'morning person.'  Now when my alarm goes off before 5am, I can't wait to get out of bed, put on my running outfit and drive down to Skid Row. 

I look forward to seeing my running family, my friends in the Skid Row Running Club.  Even though most of us are still blurry eyed and sleepy, that soon changes when we head down onto 6th Street in front of the Midnight Mission.  That doesn't mean that I am ready to just jump into a quick 5 mile run.  It's not until we have crossed 6th and San Pedro Street and a couple minutes later start having conversations that the fun really begins.  It starts with a simple question such as "What are you going to do after the run?" or "How have you been?".  Immediately you stop focusing on the fact that it's early in the morning or may even forget that you are running.  

From mile 3 - 5, everyone is having a great time, the pace quickens although I don't think anyone really realizes that their effort has increased.  We finish at 4th and Crocker Street, where there are a lot of tents and frequently volunteers who are out on the streets to provide breakfast to the people living there.  We all wait for one another to finish, with high fives and fist bumps.  Everyone, I mean everyone, is in the best mood and very happy that point.  It made the early morning wake up worth it.  That's why I do it again and again.  

When you know you have friends that are counting on you and are also getting up early in the morning,  it's a lot easier to get up early in the morning.   The natural 'high' after having a good morning run is incredible.  It feels especially special knowing that you accomplished it with an amazing group of individuals.  Everyone walks away ready to tackle whatever obstacles that confront them.  We all realize that life is just a series of small steps, putting one foot in front of the other.



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