by: Matthew Giron
It is well known that the streets of skid row are often littered with trash and debris. This unfortunate reality results from the droves of tents and homeless people who inhabit the area. Occasionally, while running, we have to step over a used syringe - constant reminders of the life of addiction left behind by many of the club members. Not all of the trash we run by is valueless, however. Judge Mitchell is well known to stop and pick up any change he sees on the ground, most of which are pennies. He will even stop to pick up a single penny! The club members who look on are amused and chuckle given the contrast with his well paid position. Rumor has it that there is a deeper, more symbolic meaning for him doing this. I'd rather not know and take it at face value - a lesson in frugality and not being wasteful with resources. One particular day the streets were particularly generous because the Judge seemed to have stopped every few minutes and wound up with a huge handful of pennies. There were so many pennies collected that it prompted a runner to snap a photo of his bounty with their cell phone at the end of the run. It was amazing how he managed to keep running with all that weight in his pockets!
There is a portion of the run along 1st Street bridge that is often "littered" with Chinese food take-out fortunes. It is a mystery as to why they always appear. There are always 1 or 2 but one particular day the heavens must have rained down fortune because there were more than could be gathered it seemed. A fellow club member likes to call them "little love notes from God". A part of me thinks she's out of her mind. I'd hope God would have a more sophisticated means of communication. It's fun, however, to play along and believe magic is real. As a club that's what we do - share ideas, inspiration, and magic with each other.
Come run with us and you will undoubtedly be encouraged to pick up the pace, we are a running club afterall. You'll also pick up a few useful tools to help you stay clean and sober for the day. And if you're fortunate enough, you may even be able to pick up a penny or a "little love note from God".