Most people who experience homelessness, addiction or incarceration have experienced unimaginable trauma at some point in their lives. Numerous studies have confirmed this, adverse childhood events, ACE, can have a tremendous impact on a person's life trajectory. This is true for many of the runners in the Skid Row Running Club who are in recovery.
People who have experienced trauma are often distrustful of other people and don't see the 'kindness' of others.
On the Monday morning run after the Griffith Park Marathon Relay. (Our club was given two free team entries from the folks at ARC.) Several of our runners who are in recovery, commented on the generosity of the running community. For example, when we set up our tents and tables for 'our' team, strangers came up to help us set up. As the day progressed, we were invited to visit the tents of other teams and invited to partake in their feasts. Other teams came up to us, after seeing our running outfits, and expressed their gratitude for our work in the community. They asked if they could run with us in the future.
We set up next to the Long Beach Running Club. They used PVC pipes to set up a gigantic tent in order to set up a food buffet in their space. One of our runners said he ate the most delicious sandwich. He said the spread they offered was amazing.
Other runners from our club noticed that even though the relay was a 'race.' The racing was done in a competitive yet friendly environment. Everyone was waiting in the chute for other teams, runners and cheered everyone on.
People who have experienced trauma and homelessness have usually 'learned' to become mistrustful of all people; people they love and especially strangers. But at the Griffith Park Marathon Relay, the runners in recovery experiened the generosity of runners. This is something I have witnessed myself on countless occasions.
A quick shout out to our friends at The Running Charity, a UK running club founded to help youth age 16 - 25 who are at risk for homelessness. They get it too.
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