I’m not going to try to play it cool here. When you think someone is awesome you tell them. Even if they think you’re a little crazy, they will love it.
Most of us have many role models. Maybe some of them are the admirable people we get the chance to have around us on a daily or weekly basis. Other times they are people in the world doing epic shit or living in a way that inspires us, so naturally if possible we stalk them on social media ( let’s not pretend like you don’t, social media gives us this privilege).
For those of you who haven’t heard about the women’s active wear (focused on running) brand Oiselle [pronounced wa-sell], now you will. Their clothes range from supportive yet fashionable sports bras to the most legit running shorts I’ve hung on my hips. The brand is cool, relatable, functional, and full of ladies chasing a dream (which I’m almost always wanting to support). They started their brand maybe 6 or 7 years ago, right around the time I was dreaming up plans of She.is.beautiful race series. I felt connected to this small group of ladies I’d never met so I began to follow them. In particular, I was sparked by Sally Bergesen their CEO ( she’s my Carrie, but just like the crew on Sex in the City you may identify with one of the other awesome ladies among their squad).
At the time, their flock ( no really, their logo is a bird and Oiselle actually means a bird in french) was small in numbers but brought the heat with passion for the sport of running and women’s running in particular. To my knowledge, they started with reinvention of running shorts and grew from there. I was intrigued by Sally’s creativity, sass, and style. She boldly brought muscles and her threads to the runway at New York Fashion week, signed 2 of the most well-known/liked women runners in the field (as well as previous Nike athletes) Lauren Fleshmen and Kara Goucher, created community and blurred lines between the professional women runner and the recreational female runner, and continued to grow their line and team. What inspired her team in the design room, they would follow it up on the start lines. They were women runners creating women running clothes. They were showing up at races to support their team of both competitive and recreational runners. They weren’t just walking the talk, they were running it.
So when I saw that Sally was on a panel at a conference I was attending featuring many other epic women leaders (hello Brene Brown, let’s do coffee?!) I joked to my friends that I was going to make Sally run with me. As Day 1 of the conference wound down at 9:30pm, I jumped into my comfy king size bed. I scrolled through my emails and social media accounts and decided what the heck, I may never have this much proximity to big S, I’m going to tweet her (on the note of twitter our account is very sad and lonely, a poor representation of S.I.B but we promise to revive it in 2016). And so tweet I did and I soon after fell sleep with the perfect down comforter on top of me.
When I woke up the next morning I made myself coffee and then got back in bed with a book. It was 6:45am I was comfortable and enthralled so I pleaded with myself to push back my run until 7:15am so I could still make the 9:00am start of the conference. I put down my book and decided to scroll through my email to see if there was anything urgent.
OMG, she replied “It’s on.” IT’S ON…OMG I’m suppose to meet Sally in the lobby in 8 minutes. I fluttered around my hotel room both incredibly excited while also cursing at myself for not packing the Oiselle sports bra that I love. I honestly didn’t think she was going to reply. I bolted out of my hotel room and tossed my hair into a ponytail as I waited for the elevator. I was so excited I was actually shaking- true story. I was meeting one of my role models and I was completely unprepared. I’m a big believer that it’s what’s inside that matters but I’m not gonna lie, when I feel good in what I’m wearing my insides shine brighter.
As the elevator slowly descended floor by floor, I negotiated with myself, “ok seriously I bet if I would have packed the perfect outfit, Sally probably wouldn’t have tweeted me back. Life’s not perfect, adjust girlfriend.” Next self-doubt creeped in and I thought “Shoot I remember reading something about how Sally hates pink. Oh shit she’s going to think my race is lame…shoot, shoot, shoot….oh wait, who cares I love what I do and we both love running so it’s ok if we don’t agree on everything…” I talked myself back in the game.
I exited the elevator and sure enough there she was, my gal Sal. The next few minutes are a blur I have no idea what I said but before I knew it we were running…
There are a few reasons why I have to tell this story:
1. Sometimes life throws us little reminders that we are on the right path and it’s beautiful 2. Always be brave enough to ask, if you don’t you may miss out on a great opportunity 3. Maybe you’re someone’s role model and you don’t even know it. Don’t give up your dream, they are watching you, cheering, and believing in you.
Thanks Sally for making bold moves and encouraging others to dream!