“Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is wasted time
Look inside your heart, I'll look inside mine”
~ Steve Winwood, Higher Love
Oiselle team since 2012. This was my 6th time going to Birdcamp. They've all been amazing experiences for me. And they truly have gotten better each year, but not only because of the camps themselves but because of the relationships I have formed with my teammates over the years; bonds that are strengthened every time I reconnect with these women and which, if I'm being honest, are really like nothing else I've had before in my life. So, yes, over 300 women gathered together to run, talk about running and all things running related, eat, play, sleep and then do it all over again for four days straight may sound crazy to some. To me? It's total bliss. A gift to myself. Something I look forward to year after year because when it's over I am a changed and better person for having gone. Still not sure? I'm going to do my best to tell you how things played out with the photos below. There were a lot of "you had to be there" moments in here. But I think you'll get the gist. And who knows, perhaps it will make you want to find your own camp or, at the very least, make sure your kids are having this much fun at the camps they are attending in the summer. Because, if they're not, something might be wrong as this is undoubtedly how it should be for all of us.
Day one with my wingladies, Ashley, Erin (aka Chicken) and Jackie. I've known these gals the longest, so I'm super close to them. They're a big reason I keep making an effort to fly to far away places and run crazy long mileage "for the fun of it". You'll see them a lot in my photos. Can't help it. I'm obsessed.
This was the typical coffee lineup before our morning run. Ok, truth. Three of these cups are mine. Jackie doesn't drink coffee. Courtney drinks tea. And Chicken lives on Redbull. Whatever gets you going, right?
First run of the weekend with Megan, Chicken & Jackie. Easy 8. So we weren't really complaining about the hills, which were huge and NEVER ENDING. That happened the next day
Chilling on the green. We did this a lot over the weekend. It was a place to meet between activities, meet new people and reset in prep for whatever was next. Our command central, if you will.
Post run with the ladies. Steph, wearing the glasses, was the ringleader of this circus. She wins the "trooper of the year" award for dealing with us. We owe her. Big time.
The MASS/RI Oiselle team lineup. It was a small group of us this year. We did our best to represent. We crushed it.
End of the day, hanging with Lesko and Sally, our lead birds. The dream team. Like, none of it would be possible without them. Especially Sally, because she started the company.
Sunday morning, pre-long run with Collier Lawrence. This is not us dreading the long run. Nope. I was super fired up for 23 miles. We were sad because her sister, Mel, wasn't with us and we missed her. But, she was off being a pro-runner, so, I guess she had a valid excuse.
This was Courtney warming up for the long run. She likes to throw some dance moves down before she gets started. Meg, behind her, looks like she's doing a slow dance with herself for a warmup. I never got a chance to ask her about that method.
Here we were about 10 miles into the 23 miles that Jackie and I would finish. Sally was "supposed" to do 13 and ended up doing 17. So, we must have been fun company. Or she just lost track of time. I don't know, Jackie and I are pretty fun to hang out with, so I'd like to think it was the former.
From about mile 18 on, Jackie and I couldn't stop talking, thinking or dreaming about chocolate milk. Jackie was only supposed to run 20 but she did all 23 with my so I wasn't alone. She rocks. And, she was REALLY thirsty when we finished. So she just took it upon herself to walk right into the kitchen and ask for chocolate milk. Later we learned that it was the camp director himself who made it for us. Bless him.
Hanging out at the beach after our long run. This picture says it all. It was completely normal to see mermaids, flamingos and bananas throughout the weekend. I'll leave it at that.
Later that day we went up the track to do a team relay. Yes, we're holding drinks. Because it was very hot. Kendra, too my left, happens to be a pro-athlete for Oiselle. She beat me but it was really close. I mean, I could feel her tailwind. So, you know, we basically were neck and neck.
Not for nothing, but this was our team, all of us over 40. And we won. Like, handily. Just saying.
Chicken, Ashley and I in our Birdbeats tanks at the late night dance party. That's right. We cut a rug into the wee hours of the night. It. Was. Awesome. Oh, and the Birdbeats playlist is here. Lots of gems on this one.
And finally, Chicken, Jackie and I on our way back to the cabin. This was our last day. The weekend went WAY too fast. Happens every time. It's so hard to digest it all and not feel like you're missing something or wanting more. But, I've learned you just have to soak it up in the moment and let it spill over you all weekend. Just feel all the feels. It was super intense in all the right ways. Every year, I find that when I head back home, I'm sad but totally rejuvenated and changed for the better because of the time I've spent with these amazing women. Until next time, my friends. See you in the sky. #headupwingsout
Listen to this
Higher Love - Kygo & Whitney Houston