Each week we interview members of our community to learn how the Corona Virus pandemic has impacted their lives, and how they are adapting in these challenging times. Our ‘Quarantine Interviewees’ are healthcare workers, small business owners, parents, service industry employees, and, of course, runners. We hope that by sharing the stories of our neighbors, we can find inspiration, solidarity, and connection as a community in the coming weeks and months. Please enjoy!
For the second installment of the series we catch up with Josh Pierce. Josh is a healthcare worker at Providence St. Pats, an avid trail runner, a father of two, and and is currently in the middle of a goal to run every day for 1000 days straight! Get to know Josh and how he is working hard to stay healthy, motivated, active, and connected amidst these wild times.
I was born in Plains and grew up in Missoula. My family and I moved away for a short time during my high school years but I’ve always considered this home. After graduating college in 2009 my wife and I moved back with plans of starting our careers and family here.
Are you training for an upcoming race? If so, which one? Has it been canceled or postponed?
My first race this year was the 10 mile Bitterroot Runoff, but it was recently postponed. At this point, I’m still planning to run the Pengelly Double Dip (Supernova) in June and the Beaverhead 55k in July.
Amidst these uncertain times, what challenges are you facing and how are you maintaining motivation?
Right now I’m trying to stay in shape for the Supernova and Beaverhead 55k. I’m really looking forward to the snow melting and being able to get into the backcountry for some longer runs.
In what ways are you staying active?
I’m still going in to work so my weekday routine hasn’t changed much. I continue to trail run every week day at 4:45 am and feel its the best way to start any day! On the weekends we enjoy getting out on our bikes as a family and checking out the trails around our house.
Are you doing workouts at home? If so, how are you getting creative?
I’m trying to avoid being inside as much as possible while adhering to social distancing guidelines. However, my family and I are attempting to do at least 3, 15 minute workouts (weights, crossfit, yoga, etc.) each week in April. I haven’t done anything like this in a long time so it’s been fun and challenging!
What’s been the biggest challenge to maintaining your running during this time?
So far, running is the most consistent part of my life. At the start of 2018 a buddy and I started a challenge to run at least one mile a day, every day, for an entire year. In 2020 our group grew significantly to almost 70 people. Having a solid group of people to hold you accountable makes getting out so much easier! I’m trying to stay healthy enough to reach 1000 days in a row running OUTSIDE!
How are you investing in your mental health these days?
It’s been really great getting to spend extra time with my wife and kids. I’m working on finishing up a custom playhouse and checking chores off my list. Getting things done around the house gives me a great sense of accomplishment.
As a health care worker, what are some of the largest ways that the COVID crisis has changed your work life in recent weeks?
My wife and I both work in the hospital and serve an extremely vulnerable group of patients. This means I need to do everything I can to stay healthy for my patients and family. One of the hardest jobs these days is finding time to home school our kindergartner. Luckily for us, his teacher is doing an amazing job and has given us all the tools we need for him to be successful.
Are there any silver linings or positive moments you have experienced due to the COVID crises you would like to share?
The best part about being home most of the time is being around family. I’m thankful for Skype happy hours, backyard bonfires, and living in a place where open space and public lands are right out our front door.
Where are you finding inspiration right now? (books, music, podcasts, people, etc.)
My inspiration comes from my family and the amazing group of friends that I’ve surrounded myself with.
What does the Missoula running community mean to you in a time like this?
The running and outdoor community in Missoula is incredible and I feel so lucky to be a part of it! Everyone is so supportive of one another and I know we’ll get through this together. Stay healthy, stay strong, social distance, and we’ll be racing together soon!