If you follow steepler extraordinaire and #HauteVolée alum Megan Rolland, you already know how busy she's been the last year! She and her wife, Steph, are moms to 20 month old triplets AND they are both hospital nurses. And yet somehow they always manage to project family love, competence, and calm. Megan, teach us your ways!
I can hardly believe that it has been almost 1 year that I stepped away from Oiselle as an elite runner. The triplets were 8 months old and I thought life was hard then, HA! When I first stopped running I took time to be fully present and not worry about a running schedule for the first time in almost 10 years. It was odd not constantly thinking about what workouts or lifting routines I had going on that day. I started working more shifts and thought after a while I would gradually and naturally start running again.
Fast forward to June of 2020 and life could not be crazier if it was taken straight from a sci-fi novel. One thing that has become extremely apparent over the last year is raising triplets never becomes “easier”. As a first time parent, I don't really know what to expect with each new stage but I have definitely learned “easier” is not one of them. They are 20 months old and adorable, exhausting, frustrating, lovable little creatures. Once covid-19 hit the US, Steph (my wife) and I pretty much sheltered up at home which meant being quarantined with 3 demanding toddlers without any of our usual help. Our state (Idaho) has re-opened and we have expanded our circle a bit and that has helped our sanity. At the same time, we both are extremely grateful to continue to have our family time together and despite lots of toddler (and mom) tears, there is also a ton of laughter, dance parties, and giggle piles.
We are both nurses in the hospital and have and will continue working through the covid-19 pandemic. There is a lot of uncertainty with this novel virus, and work, especially in the beginning, was pretty stressful. I work in the emergency department which is considered a high risk area. The rules can change daily regarding the appropriate protective equipment you are supposed to wear. Every mask is recycled and our N-95s are rationed out. Steph and I were forced to sit down and have honest conversations about who would take our children if we both got sick. We felt guilty going home to them every night potentially exposing them but not knowing what the right thing to do was. Our state was not hit particularly hard in the first wave and our hospital and the emergency room never became overwhelmed with patients. We are the major trauma hospital in our area and we have entered into our busiest season. This, along with increasing number of covid cases as our state hits the final stage of reopening, does bring with it another wave of anxiety.
My babies will grow up and running will still be my old friend, ready to accept me back.
As for running, my inconsistent training continues to follow me. I cherish the time I do manage to get out into the foothills for a run. A year ago, I imagined by this time I would have some fun races on the calendar and maybe even have an ultra run checked off. My goals have changed to try and get a run in at least 3 times a week. If raising triplets during a pandemic has taught me anything, it's to appreciate every day for what it gives you. Whether that looks like a sweaty breathless run up a mountain, being present for 3 extremely active inquisitive toddlers, or taking the extra time with my patient in the emergency room because they are scared and are not allowed any visitors. I know it won't always be like this, the pandemic will end, my babies will grow up and running will still be my old friend, ready to accept me back.
I do have a trail challenge starting in a few days that challenges you to run every trail in the Boise area within a month. This equals out to about 170 miles with 23,000 feet of elevation. Maybe it will be just the kick start I need to get back on the trails consistently.