almost two weeks ago to this day, i had the opportunity to head west to orgeon and participate in the first ever oiselle #birdcamp. i didn't really know what to expect and i was 100% nervous leading up to travel day with the same fears i had as a kid going to camp, "what if no one likes me?" funny how even as adults our core fears and concerns don't change much!
i was lucky enough to carpool with some amazing ladies and that set the tone for a week full of meeting new friends who already had two things in common to bond over: oiselle and running.
|the carpool crew|
|we made a stop at legendary hayward field in eugene before|
driving to bend
i was hoping i would go into bird camp feeling strong and ready to run on trails and challenge myself in the 5k race that we all did on thursday evening. what i got out of my body, and out of myself was the exact opposite. i was only able to run twice and each of those runs was incredibly difficult. my body wasn't cooperating and i was in pain. if you want to feel badly about an injury, go to running camp where most people are running 2x a day in the most incredible scenery you can imagine. needless to say, i was mentally struggling to keep myself positive.
luckily, there were experts at camp to provide insight and advice and words of wisdom on all sorts of running, sport and life related topics. i think my favorite thing about camp was listening to elite athletes like lauren fleshman, kate grace, and stephanie howe share stories of their triumphs and their times of struggle. i specifically asked lauren about how she has been able to find the "what's next for me" goal during times of injury. i wanted to know how i could get past my own injury, mentally. she provided some amazing advice that is so simple and yet so hard, "you just have to let it go and accept the reality of the situation. find a new process goal" (that is totally paraphrased by the way, but you get the idea). i spent a lot of time over the course of camp thinking about my goals and how i could let my current september goal go. for me, bird camp was as much mental training as it could have been physical training.
|lauren fleshman answering my question and giving out advice|
we did a lot of great things at camp; hike smith rock (my first time hiking EVER), explore the beautiful oregon trails, form drills and activation drills, meditation exercises and singing the national anthem as a team (search for it on youtube, lauren led us in song). we also got a sneak peek at what's coming down the line from oiselle and it was pretty neat to see all the different clothing styles on actual bodies. i know that everyone had a long shopping list at the end of camp after getting to see the #flystyle of everyone on the team!
|me on top of our smith rock climb|
|smith rock - gorgeous!!!|
if anything, this week solidified for me one thing i have known to be true about running: the community is one of my favorite things about the sport. i spent a little less than a week with 100 amazing women who have conquered amazing feats, who have endured, who have overcome and at the end of camp they had inspired me. even though i was feeling low about my ability as a runner at this time in my life, i could look around me and still have the drive and hunger to chase down my goals because all of these women kept that fire alive for me. they were out winning races and challenging new distances. heck, i am even reconsidering training for a marathon again thanks to leana! even though i couldn't run like i wanted to, i came away from camp knowing how much running meant to me and having a network of supporters to help me keep that fire alive. that is something that i cannot put a price tag on and something i am incredibly grateful for.
|my homegirl beth was my bird camp hero!|
|loved learning from lauren and sally - much respect and love for them!|
|oregon is ridiculously beautiful|
|this was just a 3 minute walk from where we stayed!|
i'm so glad i stepped out of my comfort zone and went to camp. getting a chance to do something like this doesn't happen often and even though i wish i could have been running fast and strong (or running at all) i am still so glad i made the most out of every moment i had with the oiselle team! check out a few of the other recaps from oiselle, my friend (and fellow spartan) lisa, paulette (my long time goog buddy), ashley (who helped me come up with an idea for my next tattoo), sarah (who has a very thorough recap and has a dog that looks like mine) and sun (who i got to meet for the first time in real life)!