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June 19, 2017

Welcome Steph Willett To The Nest!

oiselle running steph wiliett volee team manager

It's all about the pack you choose to run in.

I didn’t grow up running. I played recreational soccer and basketball in high school, but didn’t participate in any kind of organized, intentional running until much later. I’m not sure that I fully understood that running was something people did. Running isn’t really a team sport, why would anyone want to do that? 10 years ago, while completing my post graduate degree I overheard a group of classmates discussing a half-marathon they had all completed together that past weekend. Whoa, wait a minute, what? People my age…my actual peers, were out there running, further than the bus stop and not chasing a ball, for fun? It was decided. I was going to be a runner! Within the next few days I visited my local running specialty store and for $69.99, I was going to “Learn to Run.” What no one told me though, was before I could learn to run, I would have to learn to be comfortable with being the slowest – even if the group was made up of people who were all easily at least twice my age. Over the next eight weeks I learned something special about running: it’s ok to be slow(er).

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After five years of running, I worked my way up to having run several half marathons (I know I make it sound easy, but trust me, it was NOT easy. Running is hard. Amazing, but hard.) and decided that I wanted to give triathlon a shot. I already had the running thing down and everyone knows how to ride a bike, right? So, what does that leave? Swimming. And where does that leave me? The slow lane. That’s right, after finally having made some (not much, but some) progress with running, I had decided to basically start up a brand-new sport that saw me, once again, at the back of the pack.

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In the 10 years since I started running and five since I started triathlon (with a few marathons and Ironman 70.3's under my belt), I often still find myself at the back of the pack. It all depends on which pack I choose to run in. Sure, I could easily train and run with people my pace or slower, but where would that land me? Running my pace or slower. To run faster, you've got to run faster and one of the easiest ways to do that is to chase those faster than you.

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Over time, I've developed the same outlook in my professional life as I have in my athletic life. I try to surround myself with those who are faster, stronger & smarter. While I am still very new here at the Nest, I have a feeling I have done just that - found a badass group of women who have speed, strength and wisdom to share. And I am very excited to learn from them.

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