Mark Jimenez

To say that 2020 has kept me on my toes would be an understatement. Everything has been a whirlwind since March. School was cancelled on March 13, and then just a few days later, on St. Patrick’s Day, the Governor shut everything down. I’ll never forget the fear of that day. I was left wondering how a small business could survive without having its doors open. I was worried about how we would move forward. There was fear, but also a sense of purpose. Luckily we made it to the reopening, and we have been grateful to our customers for coming to see us and complying with our health and safety requirements. We couldn’t do it without you. Thank you.

This crisis hasn’t just hit small businesses, however. It has also managed to throw our personal lives into mayhem. My kids had to finish their school year online, and I had to finish teaching the school year online. We still aren’t entirely sure what next year will look like. Usually every summer starts with me waking up very early and going to coach the dedicated kids at Shadow Ridge High School for summer intramural practice. Not this summer, though. We spent June not knowing whether or not we’d be able to have a season.

While we still aren’t sure how the fall will look, the CCSD cleared us to have summer intramural practice, with some strict guidelines. Today was the first day of practice. I can’t tell you how good it felt to be in my truck and watching the sunrise as I headed towards Shadow Ridge. For a few moments, everything felt normal and right again.

Sunrise in Las Vegas

I’m hopeful that we will be able to have a season this year. There is something magical about taking a freshman who can barely run to the end of the block and then watching him or her knock out a 5 mile workout just a month later. Kids often adapt best to uncertainty, and they were definitely up to the challenge today. It’s not easy to wake up early in the summer for a practice that starts at 6:00am, and it’s not easy to wear a face mask when you are with a group of friends. But we didn’t hear anybody complain. I couldn’t be happier.

In this time of uncertainty, I take comfort in the things that point to the fact that we will get through this. Starting summer intramural practice, albeit a month late, is one of those things. I’m hopeful that we will all get through these trying times and come out stronger on the other side.

Speaking of stronger, I have been fighting off injury since I decided to run 300+ miles in March. My 42 year old body wasn’t ready for those miles, and since I run every day, the healing is slow. Here we are in July and I’m finally feeling back to normal as far as my running is concerned (knock on wood). I’m hopeful that I might even find some races on a calendar soon. We’ll see what happens… these are uncertain times, after all. One thing I am sure of, though, is that I’m determined to get through these hard times and any other hard times that pop up in the next 65 or so years I plan to be around (that’s right, do the math, hahaha). A tree with strong roots laughs at storms, and everything we are doing now is making our roots stronger!

See you running!


Mark Jimenez is a father, teacher, and small business owner. He runs every day. You can find him at any of the 3 weekly Red Rock Running Company group runs.