"Because when we move our bodies with the rhythm of running and the beating of our hearts, those are our stories."
~ Sally Bergesen
Monday, January 15th
7:00am in Seattle, WA
I'm having coffee with Lauren Fleshman, who is in town for the Oiselle Runway Slam. I've been up since 5:00, mainly because of the time change, but also because I'm buzzing from the weekend which was beyond amazing and, sadly, is now coming to a close. I've started and restarted this post at least 10 times but I just can't seem to lay it out. My thoughts are all over the map and I'm not able to pinpoint the thread that ties it all together. Thankfully, Lauren was willing to lend an ear and, ultimately, helped me get things flowing by asking the right question. Here's how our conversation played out:
Me: I'm having a hard time putting this blog post together.
LF: Why is that?
Me: Well, typically when I travel with my Oiselle friends it's for a race that I'm either watching or running and that's the central focus of the post. I don't have that this time around.
LF: Yeah, that's right. No race. Totally different.
Me: Totally. After a race, my story kind of unfolds on it's own and I just fill in the details as I go.
LF: So, why did you come? What was the draw for you this time if it wasn't a race?
Me: I really just wanted to connect with everyone. I've been missing them a lot lately and felt out of touch. I guess I was just craving their company.
LF: You just needed your women.
Me: I did. I needed my women.
Sometimes, you just need to be with your people. They lift you up, they make you laugh, they remind you who you are and why you do what you do. They love you hard and you love them hard back. And that, my friends, is the story here. There was no training, there were no setbacks and there are no results. This story is plain and simple. I went out to Seattle to run, hang, drink coffee, listen, learn, dance, eat.....to fly with the ladies of Oiselle who I am so incredibly lucky to call my friends.
w/ Steph, Chicken, Sally & Lesko
Friday afternoon: Arrived at the Oiselle Nest on Friday. I've been on the team since 2012 but had never been to HQ so I was stupidly excited to see where the magic happens. Things immediately got weird. We love weird.
w/ Sky, Rebecca, Lauren, Chicken, Beachy & Lesko
Friday evening: After a run with Erin (aka Jungle Chicken) and a coffee, we made our way over to our rental house which we'd be sharing with friends; both old and new. Clearly, I was a little excited at this point.
Running w/ Rebecca, Chicken & Sally (still weird)
Saturday morning: At some point over the weekend I needed to get a long run in. But, when I woke up Saturday morning, I decided I was way too tired to do it then and that I didn't want to do it Sunday because I wanted to relax and enjoy myself at the Runway Slam that night. After giving it way too much thought, I decided I'd probably just wait and get it done when I got home. On our way over to the 'O' store, where we'd be meeting up with the team, Chicken and I decided we'd do 6 and then see how we felt. Mile 3 came and went and we didn't turn around. Shocker. Rebecca turned around at 6.5 as she needed 13. Chicken and I ended up running 20. Chicken didn't even need a freaking long run. That's what happens with this crew. You just never know. Though if you really want to know, Chicken made me.
Mel Lawrence & Shalane Flanagan racing the 3K
* Both photos by Heather McWhirter
Saturday afternoon: Headed over to UW to catch the indoor preview at the Dempsey meet where we got to watch these two beauties fly. Literally. Mel, a Oiselle athlete, came in right on the heels of Shalane. The race, the athletes, the setting; all of it gave me chills. It left me speechless and took me quite a while to process. Talk about inspiration.
Saturday night: Over to the Oiselle Runway Slam where we got to preview Spring 2018 and, more importantly, to hear 22 women's stories "in all of their beautiful, messy, authentic and brutal honesty." (Sally's words) Totally mind-blowing. (mine) This event really deserves its own post which I may or may not get to. If you're curious for more info or to watch the show in its entirety, click here. It was one of the many reasons I flew out but only a small part of the full package.
Lesko, Lauren, Baby Zadie, Me & Sky
Sunday morning and afternoon: Lesko and her husband, Bob, were tour guides for those of us who were still in town. It was 55 degrees and sunny, which is very rare for Seattle this time of year. Lucky us. So, we did it all. Coffee. Ferry over to Bainbridge Island. Lunch. More coffee. The Great Wheel (holy heights). Shout out to Sarah and Bob who have probably done all of that, like, 100 times.
w/ Lesko at Green Lake
(*top pic w/ Lesko, Lauren & Sally on the same run)
Monday morning: Final run with Lesko, Sally and Lauren. Could not have been a more beautiful send off. Got a serious dose of Oiselle #birdlove over this weekend, which is exactly what I needed. Quite a story, indeed.
Listen to this:
Warm Fire Lightening - Satellite Mode