We Are Family
By Betsy Hughes, co-owner of Track Shack
My family is likely bigger than yours. I have five siblings, two children, a son-in-law, a grandchild, a sister and brother-in-law and between Jon and me, 32 nieces and nephews. Oh, and my mom and Jon’s folks are still going strong and approaching 93 years old! And, thankfully, this spring, through this horrible pandemic, our family is safe and healthy.
But there’s more! Our Track Shack staff, our work family, is also safe and healthy and happy to be working again. Like you, we spent many weeks at home, (my garden looks better than ever, my running is more consistent and Jon and I enjoyed many homemade lunches together.) Home this spring, was a learning experience. After discovering Zoom, we were able to meet with our work family and our extended family, creating new business models and celebrating birthdays and anniversaries on a computer screen. Easter was hard, especially for our parents, our 90’s as we call them; watching their respective priests give the homily on our laptops. But we were the lucky ones because we could see our parents. We sincerely pray that your Central Florida family, is safe and healthy as well.
Yes, Track Shack is open again. Things look a little different, our hours have been adjusted, we shop for Lysol daily, we wear face coverings (masks) but we are able to once again help you find what you need so you can continue staying fit and healthy both physically and emotionally. It’s exciting to see holes in the bottom of shoes! That means we are all on the roads walking and running more than ever! It was a solo run for me for so long, but each day it’s getting better. Thank goodness we are entering Phase 2 as you read this, meaning that, still being cautious, we can gather in groups of 50. For Track Shack, that means we can start our training programs again!
When our kids were growing up we encouraged them to be independent and sent them to our local public schools. It was a hard decision to do so at the time but the best we ever made. Parenting is not for wimps, for sure. We are so proud of them both, Emma teaches Latin and is an amazing mom to our sweet Talia and Chris directs the retail operations at Track Shack. They are both opinionated and definitely independent, maybe even head strong. Their work ethic is strong as they grew up watching Jon and me run two businesses, meaning sometimes dinner was a little late. Our family ties are strong and as business owners that “family” too, is 24/7. This spring, COVID-19 changed everything for all of us and each day continues to be a learning experience.
Together, with our running and walking community, we have something extra special in Central Florida. Yes, I’m bragging a bit… Track Shack will soon celebrate 43 years as an independent running specialty store, earning the title 50 Best Stores in 2020. Our events truly don’t compare to others, thanks to our dedicated and amazing staff and our training programs encourage hundreds every year!
We are saying goodbye soon to Susan Paul, Track Shack Training Program Director who has led our programs for almost 20 years. Susan is a coach like no other; even Runner’s World has called her a “super coach” for many years. Her shoes will be filled (and I know her shoe size!) with our two new co-directors, Dan Kline and Shannon Battoe and I am confident our running community will embrace them! Once again, thank goodness for Phase 2!
See? I told you my family was bigger than yours! That makes me a very lucky person, thanks to all of you!
See you on the roads!
Track Shack is open with limited hours and limited capacity:
Starting July 1: Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. • Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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