Josh Morgan here...first year D10 competitor; in the restaurant business; quarantining solo in NYC. First and foremost I hope everyone is safe and well, and navigating this tragedy with all the serenity you can possibly summon.
It's been a rough few weeks, as we have all been directly impacted by this devastating calamity. As a community we are sharing in that pain together. But we will also get through it together. I can tell you that one thing that has given me a sense of direction and perseverance through this is feeling like a part of a larger community.
This has especially been true in our industry. Here's a little glimpse into the last few weeks as a restaurateur.
When COVID hit, it hit us hard and fast. Sales down 90% YoY in a matter of days. Unfortunately we've had to close a majority of our locations and terminate many unbelievable people. It was--and still is--an apocalyptic event, and I have no idea how it will play out.
As athletes I think we all have innate qualities of grit, scrappiness and intense dedication to singular goals. These are the qualities that have driven our business the last few weeks. One of our approaches was to try to stay open NO MATTER WHAT in New York City so that we could serve our greater community, feed the Heroes that were on the front line, and bring our team members closer together by uniting around this cause.
In Week 1 we launched a MELT IT FORWARD campaign targeted towards feeding school kids, hospital employees and even the National Guard. Over the last five weeks we've donated almost 10,000 meals to these unbelievable people in our city that were battling the devastating COVID disease head on.
In my entire career I've never been so scared to be in this industry, and I've never been so proud. Watching our restaurant friends, colleagues and team members come together in a time of crisis has been nothing short of miraculous. It's a true testament to an incredible community of people.
On a personal level it has been the goals set and shared by the collective D10 community that have been keeping me sane during a difficult quarantine--one in which I am solo in a small NYC apartment, at the epicenter of it all. But several months ago I made a commitment to compete with my teammates (Team Cornell) and to raise money for MSK, and no matter what, we will find a way to see it through.
As we all have, I committed to getting creative with home workouts. I repurposed equipment buried on a closet shelf and found a way to make it work. I connected with people from our amazing Tone House family in NYC to share ideas, thoughts and strength. And I forced myself into a routine that would ensure I stay on track to hitting those goals, no matter when the competition actually happens.
I miss our Tone House workouts and family. I miss the gym. I miss D10 track training with Ted. I miss the physical connectedness.
But there is one thing that is not missing, and that's the comfort in knowing that The D10 community is there. Is strong. Is inspiring. And will be there for each other no matter how long we endure this pandemic. And I truly have so much gratitude for being a part of it.
Here's wishing everyone all the best, and I look forward to the day when we can reunite, compete together, and relish the satisfaction of achieving those lofty goals we all committed to.
You can follow Josh Morgan on Instagram @joshmorgs. If you're in a position to make an impact on NYC's COVID-19 response, please consider donating through Melt Shop's MELT IT FORWARD campaign. One hundred percent of donations go to providing meals for frontline responders.