Last summer after watching Amanda Mergaert's impressive racing skills at USA Track and Field Championship, we were ecstatic to announce her addition to the Oiselle Haute Volée team. Over the fall Amanda has been living in Salt Lake City, Utah. Learn more about Amanda and her recent move to Davis, CA.
I finally made it to California! I am typing this from my new home in Davis, less than two months after my first visit here. I can’t believe it! When I decided I was going to run professionally after finishing my collegiate eligibility, two aspects of the “next step” were on the top of my priority list. The first was signing on with a company that was supportive of my goals and that stands for something I believe in: Oiselle of course! The second was training with a group of like-minded and driven individuals. I’ll be the first to admit that I was hesitant that I would find both of my top priorities; I am so happy that I was able to pull that shit off! At first, moving far away from the life that was built in Salt Lake during my college years seemed like a large pill to swallow. However, after meeting the team and coach, I had a feeling that this was going to be a perfect fit for me.
After signing with Oiselle, I knew that a move to the Sacramento-Davis area was a possibility in the future. I visited Davis during the week of Thanksgiving, after finding out that it would be best to go sooner than later. I realized shortly after meeting everyone that I wanted to move as soon as possible. Right off the bat, I realized everyone within the group had great chemistry. Having teammates to train with on a daily basis elevates the caliber of training; it is also so encouraging to surround yourself with people living the same lifestyle as you. It makes even the most stressful day or difficult workout seem less challenging and more enjoyable.
The “to-do list” to make this transition work was terribly long. At first I thought there was no way that a move from Salt Lake to Davis could happen so quickly, particularly because of finals and the holidays. Slowly but surely, things kept getting checked off the list and the move seemed attainable. Eventually, all that was left to do was to say goodbye to everyone in Salt Lake, which was definitely the most difficult part about this transition. My friends, coaches, mentors, and families in Salt Lake have been so wonderful the past four and a half years. I will always be grateful for their kindness and support.
On Saturday my friend and I drove the entire way from Salt Lake to Davis. A few moments over Donner’s Pass made our asses pucker, but thankfully we made it safely, without too many issues. So far, my new roommates have been awesome and my teammates have been even better. This is the first week in several years where my iPod has not been my main running buddy. Coming down to sea level from altitude hasn’t been so bad, either. Having my friend with me this week to explore the new town has helped keep my mind off of the aspect of moving so far away.
Ending up in a place like this, with my fantastic new coach, Drew, and training group, is every runner's dream. Hard working, dedicated, and fun personalities make up this group. There are five athletes, including Lauren who is also on the Oiselle team! Our training schedules don't directly coincide but they overlap so that together we can become stronger. Practice has been enjoyable; we have been grinding out quality work since the day I arrived. I feel very fortunate that Oiselle found such a good fit for me. I am so excited for what the future has in store!
* Lauren and Amanda race next at the JDL Hilton Garden Invitational in Winston-Salem, NC on February 1st!