How do you describe a near-lifelong dream come true – one that two people shared long before they knew each other – that was bigger than themselves? Becki (the B in BAnna), puts it best:
The feeling seemed to pour out of me, as if I was a 12 oz cup being filled with 16 oz of fluid. It was more of whatever it was than I could hold. I felt something, it wasn’t the typical tear triggers like joy or elation, sadness, sorrow, regret or longing. I couldn’t put my finger on it. So, I sat in silence for the first time in a week and let the tears fall. After some time I texted my in-house Psychologist and fellow Volée Melissa. She hit the nail on the head: the feeling was gratitude.
For both of us, hosting a running camp was something we had dreamed about as high schoolers. During Anna’s senior year, she took an entrepreneurship class and was tasked with writing a business plan. And so, her first running camp idea was born.
Becki recalls telling her high school counselor that she wanted to own a running camp, and the counselor assuring her that was not a career.
Becki and Anna met in October 2016, and despite mutual fears we would hate each other, it was love at first run. Our similarities became increasingly apparent as we got to know one another: we have similar goals, we coach fearless women, and neither of us is a stranger to struggle. On our first run together we talked about our running camp dreams. What started as an “if” quickly become a question of when?
On Friday, January 25th, 2019, as 70+ women descended upon Austin, Texas, our dreams were fulfilled.
For our first camp, we chose a theme that we know very well: mental game. We brought in Anna’s mental game coach, Dean Hebert, who offered 5 talks throughout the weekend as well as 30-minute one-on-one sessions. Other programming included a talk by Becki and Anna entitled The Art of Being a Gritty Bitch,a Krav Maga self-defense class, and a nutrition talk by Emily Kean.
We had three goals for camp:
- Give our athletes the tools to leave as stronger/smarter runners
- Provide a model for what happens when two women who could be competitive in running/life instead work together toward something bigger than themselves
- Have a fun f*cking time
We ran, laughed, never-have-I-ever’d (what happens at BAnna Camp stays a BAnna camp), shared our stories of triumph and failure, and grew together over that weekend. We worked to become better athletes and learned ways to handle racing, training, and life through a camp largely focused on the mental aspect of running. We grew friendships, and learned we all work through the same things, and have so many that are willing to support us. It was a weekend we will never forget, and one we cannot wait to share with more women in the upcoming years!
As Becki reflects:
So with my sense of gratitude I want to say Thank You. To the women of BAnna Camp, you showed up with open hearts, open ears, and a readiness to embrace others and all camp had to offer. To Anna Weber, our matching dreams got camp off the ground, without you our dream would still just be a dream! To Oiselle, your belief in me allowed me to have a voice in our incredible running community that I otherwise may not have had. Thank you for creating the Volée, the support is unheralded. To the Volée, your support and friendships have altered my life in such incredible ways. I love this team! Thank you all.
We are beyond grateful to have shared our love of running and coaching with other women, especially regarding menal toughness. While our mission was to empower other women, we were empowered in the process and truly feel as though we have found our calling in life. Will there be camps in the future? HELL YES! We are nailing down dates for 2020 and cannot wait to start the planning process over again!