Sally Bergesen. Runner. Writer. Mom. Designer.
CEO and Chief Rabblerouser at Oiselle.

Team Can Be Temporary (and That’s Okay)

image

When I was in high school, I ran with the fast kids and not the athletic kind. At 16, I moved out of my Dad’s house, drove cars sans license or permit, and “camped” in the hills of Berkeley with a roving pack of similarly undomesticated teenagers. It was a lifestyle which, oddly enough, was not uncommon in NorCal in the mid-80’s. I proceeded to gallop like a wild horse without a fence through college at Oregon until I’d had enough, arriving at the edge of my 20’s both winded and hollow. I was tired; and in being broken down realized I was ready to grow up.

That’s when I found running - a little like Forrest Gump - without much of an inkling of where I was going or when I’d stop. And then the days and miles ticked off and after I moved to Seattle, I kept at it, right foot, left foot. I joined a local running club. I met people. Most of them still say hi to me. And even though the bright orange singlets of my local club were ill fitting, with a different way of being ill-fitting from year to year, it was a very good group. And it was well organized, sending full men’s and women’s teams to Cross Country Nationals every year, including the year we won the title in 1997 on the Stanford Campus (thank you Bill Roe).

I ran for the club through my mid- to late-20’s, and then again after having babies. Even though it was never the same group from year to year, the team was a constant in my life for more than a decade. They were people that I knew would be there when I needed them, and easily recede when I didn’t.

I believe this is the best role a recreational team can play in someone’s life — and my hope for The Flock. When we are little, we have our parents and they are our first family. And then we go to school and/or get a job and that becomes our second family. Running is like a third family — especially in the early 20’s when, remarkably, the world is both an oyster and an impenetrable clam. It’s a type of camaraderie that sits just outside anything else you might be doing, or not doing, with your life. 

And while this might sound odd, I genuinely hope that people leave us. Or let me put it this way: I hope that Oiselle Team, in whatever form, can be a place where people join, connect, run, and then when the time comes for them to move on to the next thing - they know we’re high-fiving them as they go. In the ideal scenario, Oiselle ends up with hundreds, thousands? of alums - who will always be part of our family - and who will always be welcomed if they want to return. Or simply head home, sheepish and tired, from stealing their parents’ car.

sexyankle:

Races
Just when I’m starting to get settled! Here’s what the next week looks like:
July 12th - 1500 - Kortrijk, Belgium
July 14th - 800 - Linz, Austria
July 19th - 1500 - Heusden, Belgium

I almost typo’d “K8 raving in Europe!!!” racing is good too. The combo could be deadly.

sexyankle:

Races

Just when I’m starting to get settled! Here’s what the next week looks like:

July 12th - 1500 - Kortrijk, Belgium

July 14th - 800 - Linz, Austria

July 19th - 1500 - Heusden, Belgium

I almost typo’d “K8 raving in Europe!!!” racing is good too. The combo could be deadly.

Being an Athlete is a Barrier to F-ing Up Your Life

In the midst of an interview with Runner’s World a few weeks ago, we got on the topic of empowerment, and the writer asked, “Do you really think women still need to be told they can do anything? I mean, women have won!” 

Cue the Beyoncé riff: “Girls…we run this…Strong enough to bear the children, then get back to business.”

Women sweat, compete, join teams, run marathons, run businesses, lead people – from small circles to great big stages.

But I faltered when he asked. I didn’t feel complete, like “yeah, we’ve arrived.” And it’s because in my heart of hearts I know we’re not done. A voice deep inside tells me every girl is still at risk.

In my opinion, that risk is not exclusion from sport. It’s that we continue to sabotage our own potential by giving up early. By settling for unhealthy relationships, dead end jobs, a situation that’s “good enough.” I saw it in myself when I was in college — and it’s everywhere, from reality and non-reality TV to the local university and the corner bar.

Being an athlete is a barrier to giving up.

You can’t be an athlete and not work hard. Reaching a goal, whether it’s a 4:00 marathon or a sub-2:00 800m takes a lot of work. It takes a plan, and the ability to execute that plan over time.

You can’t be an athlete and spend all your time being a people pleaser. At some point, you put yourself first, and you learn how putting yourself first is not mutually exclusive with nurturing and helping others.

You can’t be an athlete and completely F up your life. Bad relationships, dead end jobs, unhealthy friends, reckless spending, drug and alcohol addiction…they’re all still possible, whether you’re an athlete or not, but much less likely. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

So yeah, I think women still need empowerment. I think we need sport. We need running friends. We need heroes. And connection. And people who dwell in positivity. And, ultimately, the feeling that we’re part of something bigger than ourselves. I feel so fortunate to be a part of that, not just with Oiselle, but with the sport of running…an activity unbounded by politics, brands, nationality, race, gender. Come one, come all, everyone’s invited to the dance floor. Just keep dancing.

Diamond League Wish List

sexyankle:

The summer calendar is up. eeeeee

IAAF

2014 Calendar
Doha, QAT - 9 May
Shanghai, CHN - 17 May
Eugene, USA - 31 May
Rome, ITA - 5 June
Oslo, NOR - 11 June
New York, USA - 14 June
Lausanne, SUI - 3 July
Paris, FRA - 5 July
London, GBR - 11-12 July
Monaco, MON - 18 July
Stockholm, SWE - 21 August
Birmingham, GBR - 24 August
Zurich, SUI - 28 August
Brussels, BEL - 5 September

source: runblogrun

Post up for ‘Merica! #USAOutdoors #Freebird

Post up for ‘Merica! #USAOutdoors #Freebird

The 3 Traits of a Legit Authority

Long flights this week meant I got a chance to read Malcolm Gladwell’s most recent book, David & Goliath. Lots of ear marked pages and scribble notes, but one passage in particular really stuck out:

"When people in authority want the rest of us to behave, it matters — first and foremost — how they behave. This is called the ‘principle of legitimacy,’ and legitimacy is based on three things. First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to feel like they have a voice — that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same as the rules today. And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from another.”

What do you think…is our sport governed by a legit authority?

http://sexyankle.tumblr.com/post/86897261190/that-was-a-great-sporting-event-period-no-need →

sexyankle:

image

That was a great sporting event. Period. No need for qualification.

It wasn’t “fun for a track meet,” it was just fun. The crowd was loud, the crowd had a reason to be loud. The races were dramatic, the announcer knew how to play up the drama. Athletes performed, athletes were given a…

This letter was received in response to a pic we posted on our Instagram feed today. It was an artistic rendering of the 4 x 1500m Women’s IAAF World Relay Team that, instead of the swoosh, showed the logos of the sponsors that the athletes actually run for (Asics, Brooks, Oiselle, and New Balance respectively). The picture has now been removed from our feed. Our apologies for any confusion we may have created by the post. And our congratulations to all the athletes running in the Bahamas this weekend. Incredible races all around - and more tomorrow!

Pain is not a stranger. It’s not an unexpected guest to whom you latch the door. Pain is on the daily. It’s your Tuesday morning. It’s your Sunday night. It’s what you do for fun. The surprise isn’t that you return to pain again and again. The surprise is that by traversing its passageways of doubt and fear, you emerge to the highest levels of joy. This is why we run.
Oiselle athlete Lauren Penney, Payton Jordan, 5000m

Pain is not a stranger. It’s not an unexpected guest to whom you latch the door. Pain is on the daily. It’s your Tuesday morning. It’s your Sunday night. It’s what you do for fun. The surprise isn’t that you return to pain again and again. The surprise is that by traversing its passageways of doubt and fear, you emerge to the highest levels of joy. This is why we run.

Oiselle athlete Lauren Penney, Payton Jordan, 5000m