When I found Oiselle, I felt broken. I was 11 months into a physio-sanctioned year off running. I’d just closed a business that I loved and was heartbroken to let go of, and I was trying to work out who I was now that I wasn’t a business owner any more.
I kept my distance from friends and acquaintances (all on me, not them), as I felt lost. I was my business, my business was me. Who was I without it? I’d decided that I really wanted running back and I was ready to make it a focus of my life. My motto for the year is “where you invest your love, you invest your life” – Mumford & Sons. I was ready to invest my love in to my running.
I was watching my favourite weekly youtube show (Ginger Runner Live) and a woman named Sally Bergesen was on. She was (and is) the founder and owner of Oiselle. I listened to her speak about her business and her love of sport and women in sport and I knew I needed to know more. I followed her on twitter and spent hours trawling the Oiselle website and blog. “These might be my people”, I thought. Fierce, positive women with a love of good design and a passion for lifting each other up.
I was nearly ready to start running again when the Volee membership opened in April. I had decided the week before that maybe next year I’d be “good enough” to join. Then it popped up in my feed that it was open that day.
Would I? Could I? Was I fast enough?
Then a tweet, to the world at large, popped up on my screen from Sally. I can’t remember it exactly but it ended with “All paces are welcome”. BAM! I was in. I emailed asking if there were any spots left and when there was, I knew it was time to leap.
You’re meant to be a fan of (wearing) their clothes before joining, but I really joined for the message they brought to my life. I own a lot of Oiselle now, I love the clothing so much. But it’s the messaging and the community that’s in my heart, first and foremost.
I did get back to running (and started this blog) only to be struck down with a mystery illness just as my Oiselle magic singlet arrived. That mystery illness has turned out to be an autoimmune and a chronic pain syndrome that will be my partners for life. Oiselle gear has come with me to every appointment. Like armour to keep me strong. I’ve muttered “head up, wings out” before the scary tests and in the waiting rooms. It’s been my companion even when I didn’t have the words to talk about it.
They say that the Volee is what you make it. For me it’s been a community of women who challenge me to be my best self and who have kind words when life feels out of control.
I’ve just been cleared to start running again and I can’t wait to wear my gear proudly as I get my fitness and my life back on track. I’ve started dreaming and making goals again and I’m glad to have so many strong women to remind me of the possibilities.
In this year of change, joining the Volee is the best decision I’ve made.
They’ve made me feel like the fierce flyer I know I can be.