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.
For the fourth installment of the series we catch up with Kelsey and Travis Walnum. Kelsey and Travis are active members of the Missoula running and cycling community, and most notably the co-owners of Wally and Buck Burger Co. Read on to learn more about how they have adapted their business, lifestyles, and goals during this time. Spoiler alert, they are still open for takeout!
Thanks for joining the quarantine Q&A! First off, how long have you lived in Missoula?
Kelsey- Born and raised!
Travis- 15 years, since 2005.
Are you training for an upcoming race? If so, which one? Has it been canceled or postponed?
Kelsey- Double Dip! Although, not a lot of training has not been happening due to making burgers for hungry Missoulians! I’m guessing it could get postponed.
Travis- I always look forward to local MTB XC series as well as some gravel events, and of course the Butte 50, Big Sky Biggie, and talk about the Spearfish 50 in SD.
Amidst these uncertain times, what challenges are you facing and how are you maintaining motivation?
Kelsey- Travis has a tendency to be a bit more motivated than I am. Work wise, we are taking business day by day and really only planning for the week. I’m hoping as the weather get’s nicer I can get outside more and establish more personal and fitness goals.
Travis- Taking things day by day. Despite the fact that we cannot participate in group activities, I typically find it challenging to establish a solid routine during the seasonal changes that occur at this time of year. Moving forward, it’ll be hard to stay focused since we may not have any events to look forward to. However, I always have personal fitness goals to work on as the seasons progress.
In what ways are you staying active?
Kelsey- Trying to run, hiking our two golden retrievers and hoping to get on my bike more as it gets nicer out.
Travis- Luckily for those who are active in individual sports, spending time outside or on the trail is still available. I’ve been riding a little more conservatively to reduce the risk of injury and being sure not to compromise my immune system.
Are you doing workouts at home? If so, how are you getting creative?
Kelsey- We are lucky enough to have trail access right out our door in Missoula. I head outside!!!!
Travis- I try to set 30-45 minutes aside every morning for some basic mobility and core workouts.
How are you investing in your mental health these days?
Kelsey- It’s been tough but staying active, even if its a short dog walk or a run. Keeping in touch with family and friends. AND, enjoying guilty pleasures like chocolate ice cream and local beers!
Travis- Since the outbreak, things have only gotten busier for us. We’ve been stretched very thin between work, trying to get outside and projects at home.
As small business owners, what are some of the largest ways that the COVID crisis has changed your work life in recent weeks?
Kelsey and Travis- Our initial instincts were directed at ways to save the business and allocate resources to give us the best opportunity of being able to open the doors again. We essentially had to restructure our operations plan, minimize costs and unfortunately layoff some of our staff. With that, we’ve been working more hours than normal.
Are there any silver linings or positive moments you have experienced due to the COVID crises you would like to share?
Kelsey & Travis- The support of our amazing community has been humbling. We would not be staying alive if it wasn’t for this amazing place we live in. Our friends and family are also coming out to help in amazing ways. The first week after we changed to our model to take out only, we had friends and family helping us out. Luckily we have been able to bring a few employees back.
Where are you finding inspiration right now? (books, music, podcasts, people, etc.)
Kelsey & Travis- Other local business owners!!! It is inspiring how everyone has become so creative and has adapted to keep their businesses going. Brainstorming constantly!!! Travis and I are constantly bouncing ideas off each other to see how we can improve or adapt.
What does the Missoula running community mean to you in a time like this?
Kelsey- Running is one of my favorite activities. I really miss running with friends and visiting with folks on the trails. I love heading out and seeing our community being so active right now.
Thank you Missoula for your continued support! We love you!
We enjoyed getting to hear from Kelsey and Travis and hope you did too! If you think this interview would add value to someone in your life, please consider forwarding this email to them.
Also, if you are enjoying the Quarantine Q&A series, or have a question you would like us to ask our interviewees, let us know! Email Mike@runnersedgemt.com.
This edition of the Quarantine Q&A is brought to you by Sapphire Physical Therapy. Thank you Sapphire for supporting and celebrating these community stories!