Monday, June 6, 2016

BirdCamp Colorado

As I sit on our back deck thankful for shade and a big glass of ice water on a crazy hot day, it seems like a particularly very cold and snowy weekend in April was years ago now. But, let's take a little trip back in time for this quick recap of the first Oiselle Volée running camp in Colorado, as it's long overdue.

As many of you know, I've been running for Oiselle for several years now. I first learned about the brand back in 2011 when Sarah Mac, their marketing director at the time, reached out about a giveaway (here's a good flashback) and later that year became an ambassador. The team structure has changed quite a bit as the company has grown. When I started, there were a few dozen ambassadors across the country, now there are more than 2,000 Volée members across the globe! Not to mention the Haute Volée and professional athletes on Oiselle's roster. It's been incredible to see the brand grow in such an extraordinary, inclusive way.

One thing many people don't know is that while there are so many of us running for Oiselle, wearing the singlet at races and attending meet-ups and group runs, the team in the Nest (Oiselle vernacular for headquarters) is still pretty small. So to manage the huge team, there are regions with Volée leaders organizing local events on a regular basis and this year, regional camps. I'm thankful to be one of the leaders for Colorado, along with another longtime Oiselle runner, Rebekah.

Back to BirdCamp.

In April, we hosted BirdCamp Colorado: three days and two nights of running, food, learning, bonding, food, yoga, food, and fun. (Did you catch the part about the food? Runners love their food!) April in Colorado can be gorgeous, sunny and warm, or biting blizzards. Unfortunately for us, we had the latter. But we didn't let that stop our energy or spirit. More than 20 women from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Washington gathered in Colorado Springs for the weekend.

We had great sessions led by experts in their field including a sports nutrition talk by Nuwanne Kirihennedige from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and a physio therapy discussion led by Heather North. We proved that runners can do yoga during an incredible class at Yoga Studio Satya. A Q&A session with Oiselle Haute Volée runner Shaluinn Fullove gave us insight into the life of an Olympic Marathon Trials runner, and the whole weekend started off with an ask-anything session with Kristin, JJ, and Jenn from the Nest. 

Even with the feet of snow and runs that involved being pelted with ice, I loved getting to know more of my teammates. They are all incredible, kind-hearted and goal-oriented women with inspiring stories. Sometimes we get into our routines and feel like we're just getting by or just living life, when in reality, we all have something to offer others. We all have an opportunity to inspire something in someone else. It might be your easy-going attitude, cooking skills, dedication to running 13 miles on a treadmill while others are eating eggs and bacon upstairs, kindness, ability to juggle work, kids and training, or how you give back to others by volunteering for Girls on the Run. Everyone has their own story and I felt so blessed to learn more of those stories during BirdCamp Colorado.

Photo by Rebekah (The Blonde Runs)
Haute Volée runner Shaluinn Fullove and Kristin Metcalf

That's me, JJ, Kristin, Jenn, and Rebekah


I would be an awful camp organizer if I didn't thank our partners for supporting the weekend our. Of course, there's Oiselle, without which camp wouldn't exist. But we're also immensely lucky in Colorado to have countless fitness, outdoors, and running-focused companies who are generous and willing to support groups like ours. Go check out these great companies....

Colorado Runner Magazine
Celestial Seasonings
Erica Sara Designs
FlapJacked
Hank Orange
Hope Foods
Justin's Nut Butters
Love Grown Foods
Momentum Jewelry
Noosa Yoghurt
Nuun
One World Running
Picky Bars
Point6
Run Gum
Run Steep
Stance
Tailwind Nutrition


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