May 16, 2012

Kristin's Monday Madness

Author: KRISTIN METCALF

Monday Madness:

Today’s task for our staff was to reflect on the question of “Why we run?”…

This question for me took many places today.  For the first time in a long time Seattle had sunshine and not just five minutes worth but an entire day’s worth of 70+ weather!  It felt like the first time since last summer that my skin actually felt warm; where I didn’t have to wear a hoodie all day!  So of course I started my day with a run at Green Lake in the sun, to jump start my reflection.

I started running in high school around this lake, five blocks from where I live today.  This was new to me; an after school sport, because for the 6 years prior to high school I was figure skating every morning and some afternoons.  Figure skating was something that I loved for many years; I loved the artistry, the technique and skill, the dedication and commitment that it required and the pure love of the grace and the glide of the sport.  The part about the sport that I struggled with was the stress of competition, the scrutiny of the judges, and the pressure that all of that brought to me on competition day. 

So, by the time track and field entered my world, running was refreshing!  Yes, it also required hard work and dedication, something that I was already use to; something that was a part of my being!  However, with running all I needed was my shoes and the desire to put one foot in front of the other..It wasn’t about all the technical details of moves and scoring those moves, it was about who got to the line the fastest!  I felt freedom from running and I felt strong! 

This sense of accomplishment and satisfaction carried me through four years of track and one year of cross-country in high school and then on to collegiate running.  After competing in college for two years, I took a break from competition, but continued to run for fitness.  My senior year in college, my former high school coach and my former college coach both told me that I should coach on the high school level.

It was through coaching that I found a new love for running!  I had spent so much time and energy on my own development of my figure skating and my running for  13 years, that putting energy into other people’s goals and pursuits sparked a new passion for me; coaching.  I absolutely loved it.  I poured my heart and soul into every aspect of my coaching.  I lived and breathed my teams; I was invested in each of the girls’ happiness, in their well being, in their goals and in their development as runners.

My husband and I met originally on our college track team, but where we ended up falling in love began in the cross-country world years later.  I was coaching my high school team and he was coaching his college team.  Our paths connected as he was recruiting athletes in our state.. Our passions were similar; we both had a desire to work hard and dedicate ourselves to our teams  For fifteen years, coaching defined me and brought much joy to my life.  Watching athletes grow in the sport and grow in life was very rewarding.  The lessons that they learned from running also helped them be balanced and hard working young adults. 

When I had my daughter, MacKenzie I had to balance a whole new sets of priorities.  It wasn’t just coaching, and teaching, it was being a good mom also.  This was a challenge for me to have to step back from 110% coaching and find balance in my life.  After several years of balancing the three, I decided that it was time to be a mom full time.  MacKenzie was entering Kindergarten, and I was stepping away from high school coaching.  The first cross-country season that I wasn’t coaching felt like I was missing a part of myself.  I had to redefine my own running; I was running by myself and for myself again.  As many of us know the motivation is different when it is just you out there, making your schedule and holding only yourself accountable.

Two years later I was looking for something new, something to do while MacKenzie was at school; Something that connected me back to running but in a different way.  Living across Green Lake from Oiselle, Iwas intrigued with the success of their concept and their product.  So here I am a part of Oiselle; A company founded on the idea that running makes us stronger women and makes us better people because it challenges us and inspires us to push harder and to continue to learn about ourselves.

What does running mean to me and why do I do it?  Because I can, because my legs and body carry me to many different beautiful places daily.  Running makes me feel strong, it requires me to work hard if I want to improve, gives me a sense of freedom, clears my mind, and makes me a better person every time I lace up my shoes.  Being a part of Oiselle allows me to be a part of a group of women who strive daily to improve themselves through running.  Not only is our company offering women great apparel but Oiselle is offering a community of women who believe in the same idea; that running makes us better people.  When asked what words come to mind when I think of Oiselle, I think of:

Creativity, Commitment, Quality, Community, and a Kick Ass Time!  

Kristin aka oiselle_team