By Matthew Giron
“We are people who normally would not mix. But there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful.”
-Page 17, Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
So a singer, a superior court Judge, and an ex-heroin addict walk into a room....
Sounds like a joke, but…..this is actually an accurate description of the colorful, eclectic personalities that make up the Skid Row Running Club.
Judge Mitchell hosted a celebratory potluck dinner in his courtroom after the Los Angeles Marathon. At this dinner I looked around and saw all of the runners with varying backgrounds, talents, and professions. I was overwhelmed by the diversity: an architect, a steady cam operator, and a writer all conversing in one small corner of the courtroom. In wonderment and in near disbelief I blurted out, "You can't make this up!" This beautiful mix of people make for the best conversations on our morning runs. I can go from talking to a lawyer about guided meditation to laughing at a makeshift 'mansion tent' with a LAPD police officer. We talk about books we’re reading, changes we’re making, and goals we’re working towards. The friendships I've developed have changed my life.
The club itself is practically an oxymoron. Running clubs are never associated with skid row. It’s almost like a homeless shelter existing in the City of Malibu! The eccentric nature of the Skid Row Running Club makes it the perfect meeting ground for such a wide-range of interesting, beautiful personalities.
What is it that brings us all together? Addiction and homelessness affects everyone - especially those who work and live near skid row. The Skid Row Running Club is indescribably wonderful.