Culture

Eat Pray Run: Running for Oiselle

Courtney shares her experience as a member of Oiselle's flock.

A little over a year ago, I received an email that brightened my day, changed how I view running, and helped to connect me with numerous other women who were just as passionate about running as I was. It was my congratulatory email telling me I’d been selected to join the Oiselle Volee Team. If you are not familiar with Oiselle (the french word for bird), let me give you a quick rundown. Oiselle is a running apparel company headquartered out of Seattle and founded by Sally Bergesen. Oiselle’s shorts were also the first pair of running shorts I found actually worked for me. That’s what first drew me to the brand. I also loved that Sally surrounds herself with a strong group of women including spectacular athletes like Lauren Fleshman, Kate Grace, and most recently, Kara Goucher. Oh yeah, in case you haven’t heard, for the second year in a row Oiselle modeled its upcoming line at New York Fashion Week.

But, let’s get back to the team. I’ve now been a member of Oiselle’s Volee team for over a year and I often get questions about the team. The easiest way to share what it’s like is to recount my spring marathon experience. I had trained all winter long for the Shamrock Marathon, which was the spring Oiselle team meetup. We had about 30 birds racing that weekend, but I was the only one signed up for the marathon. Well, race weekend dawned and I woke up at 2am Friday night with a nasty stomach flu (it turns out I had the norovirus). I made the drive down to Virginia Beach anyway, hoping I’d feel better. Spoiler alert: I did not. I had dinner with the team, where I was able to choke down a piece of bread. On race day, I was severely dehydrated and under fueled considering I hadn’t been able to eat anything for the past 36 hours. I knew it was going to be a rough day. As a result, I had to pull out of the marathon at mile 17, and I was incredibly disappointed with myself. What saved me that day from feeling more awful than I already did were my friends: the people I’d known forever, my family, newer friends, and of course, my team. I was given so many incredibly sweet words of encouragement. My Oiselle teammates shared in my disappointment but didn’t let me wallow in it. It was not one of my finest days but it was at that moment I knew I’d remain on the Oiselle team as long as they would have me.

That’s my definition of team. Support, acceptance, inspiration, and genuine friendship. I’ve found all that and more by joining Oiselle and I’m so happy to fly with this flock.