My Story of Oiselle
I am lucky. Lucky to be putting time into something I love. Lucky to have a team. Lucky to have the opportunity and the platform to share my story. I am lucky to have learned to fail. Lucky to feel. Lucky to have done things I never thought I would. I could go on for days. But, above all, I am lucky to be a part of Oiselle.
When I finished my collegiate career on May 25th, 2013, short of a nationals berth, I thought my career was over. At that point of my life, running defined me. It broke me. My self-perceived “failure” that final season sucked the confidence out of me. Choosing a career as a runner would be irresponsible and if I had, the whole venture would have been wrapped up in my feelings of unworthiness and lack of belonging. Not the environment to thrive. When your income is based on performance you have to have a strong sense of confidence. You have to love it. Had it not been for Oiselle giving me hope that first year as a post-collegiate, I would be in a very different place.
From the moment I joined Oiselle as a member of the Volee in 2014 I knew I was part of something different. My first year as a post-collegiate was not great but my shear persistence was enough for Kristen Metcalf to take a chance on me. They valued me as a person. They believed in me more than I even believed in myself. The NC Volee was and still is my family. They have supported me through these last two years where I have struggled. They understand that this career has its ups and downs. My value is not based solely on my abilities but who I am as a person. The are interested in making changes. Empowering women and challenging the suppression within this sport. They don’t have to support athletes but they do.
As a high school and college runner I was naive to the sport. I didn’t know the role models that stood before me. I wasn’t cultured in how things worked. I didn’t know what women were leading the way for me. I didn’t know that most distance runners either lived in a cost neutral state or made less than $15,000 a year. Oiselle has created a culture that promotes and encourages young girls to be active and body positive through their Bra’s For Girls program. They have also created an avenue for elite women to succeed and grow as humans.
But, beyond their support of elites is their very real support of women. Women of all ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles. I have connected and learned from women I never would have had the opportunity to cross paths with had it not been for the platform they created. When I travel I can reach out to the local Volee around me for places to run, people to run with, or a chance to meet up. At bigger races I can always count on the best cowbell corner and the loudest cheers. Plus, I am always free to be weird and awkward around the NC Volee.
6 years ago I was running for me. Now I am running to make an impact. I’ve been struggling over the last few years but despite all the setbacks, disappointment, and frustration, I am still fighting forward because I owe it to Oiselle and the thousands of women of the Volee that believe in me. I love sharing about my experiences with Oiselle because I hope that others will have the opportunity to feel empowered in the same way. The Volee is open through the end of April 12th so get in there! (click here to join)