It’s been rough. We know it.  

You know it. It’s ironic – a paradox, even. How something so unbelievably small – microscopic, actually – has altered every one of us in unbelievably big ways…in ways we thought we’d only experience vicariously, watching a second-rate sci-fi thriller with an abysmal plot, no special effects, and a third-rate cast. What an absolute delight it would be if that were the case! We could just unplug, walk away, and be immersed in our version of what normal used to be…before. Before masks and gloves. Before schools were closed and events were cancelled. Before jobs were lost and businesses shuttered. Before lives and livelihoods were lost. Before all the very bad, incredibly sad, and particularly uncomfortable details and aspects of COVID-19 appeared. 

But the human spirit rises above tragedy and sorrow and difficulty. It has and it will. We don’t give up.  

Wherever and however we suffer, individually and collectively, a light still shines within and around us. We cannot and do not always see the sun, but we know that it is always there. Hope, that virtue that compels us onward, can and will heal a wounded soul. And a wounded soul, lifted up with the help, decency, and compassion of others, will, in turn, lift up others. And we are all strengthened in the process. 

From a small business perspective – the brunt of COVID-19 has been felt in every aspect of our personal and professional lives, in what we do, who and how we serve, and how we exist in the community – our community that we love and have been a part of for nearly 13 years. Small businesses – agile and evolving – are the backbone and reflection of economic growth and prosperity. Small businesses – often referred to as the fabric of a community – help shape local cities and regions. But we do not exist on our own, for our own. We are a portion of a whole – a community at large that lives, breathes, suffers, and celebrates together.      

It is in this spirit that the idea of “Run Virginia” took root. 

Not a tedious campaign to generate sales, but a collective effort, grounded in hope and united in purpose, to find the potential of a brighter tomorrow.

So…where we go from here depends on all of us. Where we go depends on where we look. Our future and what we see and hope for, is about you. It’s about us, too. But most importantly, it’s about you and us together.  

Let’s roll up our sleeves.  Let’s lace up our shoes.  Let’s Run Virginia!

Ian Connor
President & CEO
The Running Store