Last December, Sydney Marshall hopped the Georgia coop and flocked to Seattle to join the Oiselle Nest. When she arrived, she really upped the running ante in the office. While most of us find the time to squeeze in a run each day, Syd schedules time for a run AND all the little things that help us runner folk stay healthy and train strong. Plagued with injuries and setbacks in college, running had transitioned from her passion to her everything; success in a race meant the world to her.
After joining the Oiselle Nest and Volée Team, she found a more balanced perspective and consequently has been racing faster than ever. After crossing the finish line of a road 5k with a 30 second PR, Syd smiled on top of the podium, not because of her fast time but because she was part of a strong and supportive team and because running was just one positive piece in the big picture of her life. Read as Sydney retells the journey.
The past 8 months have been some of the best of my life. People always say college is the best 4 years you’ll ever have, but I disagree. Being a young adult out of college with excitement for a new career is an amazing feeling. Working at The Nest and having the opportunity to be a Voleé team member is everything I could’ve hoped for in this stage of life.
I ran on the University of Georgia’s cross country and track team in college, but had a rough career there. Injury issues had me in a boot and on crutches several times a year leaving little room for fast times. My goals for college ended quickly and I made the decision to quit the team after two years and train on my own. I was able to stay healthy while running on my own and started to enjoy it more. I could run when I wanted and at the pace I wanted, but missed that team atmosphere I was used to. I raced several half marathons and some cross country races unattached during this time and was starting to get back to my normal fitness level. Being off the team also allowed me to enjoy what else there is to life. I was able to concentrate on school more, join clubs, work part-time, and enjoy my college town.
I graduated last May and started a job in Georgia immediately. The job didn’t fit me and I wasn’t happy. I wanted something more meaningful that aligned with my passions so I started to pursue my options.
I knew of Oiselle in high school and owned a couple t-shirts, but nothing more. I started becoming a “fan girl” post college and loved everything Oiselle. Through some connections I had in the Atlanta area, I got in contact with Oiselle and my current manager. I interviewed, made a huge move across the country, and started a new chapter in Seattle.
Having the opportunity to work for Oiselle and be a Voleé member has had a huge impact on my attitude and running. I’m constantly reminded of all the amazing women out there that have the same passion as me. When I am on the road for work I can meet up with a teammate in almost any city and go for runs or have meals together. I love hearing about all the races Oiselle is represented in each week around the nation and how many of our women continue to improve each year. Being part of the Volée has motivated me, helped my confidence, and allowed me to enjoy racing again.
I’ve been training harder than ever and ran a PR in the 5K recently (an event I have not PR’d in since freshman year of college). The best part about this race was the warm up. Six Birds from The Nest warmed up together in our singlets and Pop Rogas. I had not warmed up as a team in so long and the feeling was amazing. I had feelings of unity, positivity, and confidence. I had to remind myself that I was about to race and race really hard!
Crossing the finish line and seeing the 30 second PR I had just run was a great feeling. I worked hard for that time and knew I could do it, but the feeling was different than I had years ago. It was not as fulfilling as it used to be. Don’t get me wrong, I was extremely happy to see that all the early mornings and weekend long runs were making a difference, but I had this feeling of being happy about so much more. I was happy that I was with my co-workers and that they all finished strong. I was happy about the beautiful Seattle weather that night. I was happy about my decision to move here and start something new. Most of all I was happy to be running healthy and have the opportunity to enjoy it with some amazing women as a Volée member.