What is the meaning of team? We queried some of our Haute Volée: "What has team meant to you throughout your life? As you've pursued your athletic career how has the team dynamic changed? What were the differences from a high school team, to a college team, to a team that includes women who run for passion, and women who run for profession? In what ways has a team pushed you to grow, or kept you inspired?"
First up, Becki Spellman, marathoner, mom, and coach.
I loved running from the beginning, to a fault. When I met my teammates for the first time, I was 12, I had no idea the impact they would have on my life. I was a selfish, arrogant, do it on my own sort of athlete... I took my team for granted. My teammates taught me that others counted on me, and how to trust and count on them. I spent most of my time with them, we shared goals, fears, excitement, and failures alongside each other. I loved it. I felt loss moving to college, and fear of the unknown.
My college teammates became my family. I grew with them and felt connected to their hopes and dreams. We supported one another, fostered each other’s dreams, and challenged each other to dream bigger on and off the track. Running allowed us to be there for one another through the good, the bad, and the downright ugly of growing into adults while chasing scary dreams. When college ended, I could not wrap my mind around not having a team. I remember telling a teammate I could not believe it. The sound of our footsteps was comforting, I relied on them for so much and the thought of losing that would not register as reality. I had a strong support system around me but missed my teammates every day.
In 2009 when I found Oiselle, neither the Volée nor Haute Volée were in existence, but I felt a sense of closeness with the Nest. I knew there was something special about Oiselle. Oiselle knew at its core how a team enriched lives, and strengthened souls, beyond just running partners. It understood that connections could cross any distance, and give strength to relationships through sport. With the formation of the Volée and Haute Volée teams, I have met incredible women at all levels of the sport. A new team, with no end date. I rarely go a week without speaking to some of my Haute Volée and Volée teammates. We talk when things get rough, when things go great. We share our biggest hopes, dreams, fears, failures, and successes, not just in running but in life.
I am surrounded by thousands of women who support me and give me the incredible opportunity to support them. I know now that my heart could not understand the reality of being teamless, because it knew it never would be. Somehow I knew there was a team, even if not yet made, waiting for me, with open arms to embrace my passion, my imperfections, my highs, my lows, and to give me people to invest my love and passion for sport and life in. While I miss the day to day time spent with my teammates of the past, the support, connections, and friendships are every bit as strong from my incredible Volee teammates. I am forever thankful to my teammates past and present for showing me how beautiful it is to be a part of something bigger than myself.
The Volée is now accepting new members. Click here to join us!