“I have Dad at the hospital. They are admitting him with internal bleeding. I’m going to need help contacting people who have orders for today. I’ll keep you posted on Dad.”
This is the text message I received at 4:13am on January 4th from my Mom.
Not exactly how any of us wanted to start the year out. For the next three weeks my Dad was in the hospital. He dealt with anemia, pneumonia, and had surgery to remove 25% of his colon. This closed my parents business The Cookie Jar, excluding their standing wholesale orders, which my mom and I were able to fulfill with help from their two employees at their bakery.
January is a slower time for business at 605 Running Company. Yes, Downtown sells a lot of burgers in the month of January, but the retail business is traditionally not great. We have been in business long enough to know this. So for 2022 my team and I made some big plans. Really big plans; that included a store remodel, new point of sale system, new online store and the addition of a brand new Run605 app that offers tons of dynamic features. This was all a very ambitious plan for the month.
Life in 2022 has moved at the speed of light for me personally. I did the best I could to spend as much time with my Dad at the hospital as possible. The situation was scary, especially as COVID once again surged (more on that later). Nothing really prepares you to see a parent in the hospital. I’m unendingly thankful to the nurses, techs, doctors and aids at Avera. My Dad had exceptional care, was treated with dignity and is alive today because of these great professionals. There is another team that I cannot praise enough. That is the great team I’ve assembled at 605 Running Company. In short I’ve been the boss from afar.
Remember when I said we’d chat more about COVID. Well, after my Dad made it home from the hospital to begin his recovery my daughter Violet tested positive for COVID. Thankfully, the two were not in close contact so my Dad was spared. Chelsea and I on the other hand were not. Violet had a fever, chills and body aches for a couple of days. I was the first parent to test positive as for some reason for the first time in her life Violet decided it was funny to lick my face. My symptoms included chills, accelerated heart rate, fatigue and congestion. Chelsea tested positive last for us and COVID combined with her asthma she had the hardest time and actually had to be put on a steroid during her recovery. So with my Dad home recovering and my family now healthy and cleared to return to normal activity I was ready to return to the shop. Except on the first day that I could go back to work in-person I woke up with Pink Eye. Apparently a bi-product of COVID. I had to wait an additional 24 hrs. to return to work.
After 7 weeks of 2022 I was finally ready and actually looking forward to a full, normal week of work. Unfortunately, on Wednesday of that week we got a call from daycare that Violet was running a fever. What now we thought. Chelsea grabbed the last available appointment at our pediatricians’ office and we raced over to try and figure things out. For the first time in her whole life Violet had an ear infection. Another health disruption and more time away from work for both Chelsea and I. We didn’t know it at the time, but the worst was yet to come.
Week 8 of 2022 was like South Dakota false spring. You know the day it is 60 degrees outside and then the next day it snows. Well, week 8 was my first full week of work in 2022. Finally, I could contribute to our ambitious store projects. I could focus on making The Sioux Falls Skedaddle weekend the best it’s ever been. I could run with friends, participate at a group run and most importantly not worry about family health. Then came the flu. Long story short, the flu was the worst and I was wiped out from work for yet another week.
So here we are 10 weeks into 2022 and I’m finally back. Unfortunately, I know that many parents have a similar story to mine this year. As we've gone through it I've reminded myself time and again that we are not alone. Today I'm happy to say that I’m back writing for our blog, I’m back to running on a regular basis and I’m back to regular hours at the shop. I know that everything I’ve written thus far has been fairly self-serving. To be honest I really just needed to get it out of me. This running community is incredible and I’ve felt the love for almost 8 years working here at 605 Running Company. My goal is to deliver a local running store experience that works for the folks in South Dakota. That includes hiring a staff that represents our community and shares a true passion for all running. Let me tell you, the individuals working here at every level of our operation are truly remarkable.
As I return from my virus induced sabbatical I must acknowledge that our running community has changed. My team and I have worked hard to change our operations. Please check out the Run605 app available from your favorite app store. Recently we’ve added new product lines like Birkenstock and we have more surprises to come as we move into 2022. Our online store is updated with new search functions, better visuals and enhanced checkout options. Finally, we are now open 7 days a week, from 11am – 7pm. Visit us in Downtown Sioux Falls for shoe fitting, gear sales and see our newest items before they go online.
Greg Koch is the Co-Owner and General Manager of 605 Running Company and Co-Produces the Sioux Falls Skedaddle Half Marathon. He serves on the Board of Directors for Downtown Sioux Falls, the 605 Race Crew and the Sioux Falls Area Running Club. When Greg isn’t with his family or working he enjoys being outside biking, kayaking, golfing or comping.
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