Guest Blog by Oiselle Team Member Meggie Smith. Meggie is in medical school in New York City and started running just over three years ago.
Who is Eugene?
By Meggie Smith
Four years ago, I distinctly remember walking through a sporting goods store seeing new Nike duds emblazoned with “EUGENE 2008.” I wasn’t sure if Eugene was a person, place, or thing, but a little internet research afterwards showed me that a lot of skinny running fiends were flocking to some “random town in Oregon” for the Olympic Trials. Nike did not get a lot of my extra cash that year, seeing as I wasn’t too keen on having a shirt that said “EUGENE” on it, for some reason.
Fast forward to this past week and now I’m one of those running fiends who flocked to Eugene to watch the Trials [the skinny part is left to reader discretion]. And, yes, I have a shirt that says “EUGENE” on it now, albeit one from the Eugene Marathon.
In each Olympic year, besides the current one, I’ve been preoccupied with gymnastics. I’ve watched the 1996 Women’s Olympic Team final at least 1,000 times and can recall specific performances, leotards, floor exercise music selections, and NBC fluff pieces from the 1992 Olympics to present. My former self would be appalled that I skipped days 1-3 (out of 4 total days) of the gymnastics trials to go to the track trials.
If I were going to get philosophical about things or overthink things, as I usually do, I’d like to think my pilgrimage to track town this summer solidifies my runner nerdy-ness or, more succinctly, me as a runner.
I started running three and a half years ago (February 2009, if we want to be precise) and, as hobbies tend to go with me, I dove in head first trying to learn everything about the sport. I got an “RC” (running coach, for those of you not down with my lingo) in November 2010 to try to improve. I read running blogs. I bought running books [my favorite is “Run: The Mind Body Method of Running” by Matt Fitzgerald], but hid them under my bed, which sounds completely insane now that I am writing this, but was motivated, I guess, by not wanting to seem “too into” a hobby that I wasn’t particularly good at, yet. When people asked me if I was a runner, I’d respond, “Yes, I dabble in it – I run,” using the verb rather than the noun “runner.”
I’m not sure when I decided I was a “runner,” the noun, but I think it’s safe to say that my skipping out on the gymnastics trials in favor of the track trials as solidified my status. I couldn’t think of a better group to be a part of.
A few final things:
- Start saving your money for new Oiselle gear as Sally’s new designs are amazing. Just don’t get your hands on that yellow top with the pink birds before I do.
- MC Hammer is a good DJ. He can totally DJ any party I throw. His son, Booby Hammer, is an awesome performer, too.
- Runners are cool people, including professionals. Cool story – Kate Grace, who ran in the 800 and 1500 at the Trials, so sincerely offered to go run with me upon learning that we both live in the tri-state area. I had to tell her to renege on that offer unless she had an elliptigo or Segway I could borrow to keep up with her.
- Alysia Montano can also perform at any party I throw. Girl can run. Girl can rap.
- Runner couples are too cute for words. Seeing Jesse (Thomas) + Lauren (Fleshman) as well as Steph (Rothstein) + Ben (Bruce) dance their little hearts out made me happy and sick at the same time. Those lovebirds…
- Elle Woods was correct when she so eloquently stated, "endorphins make you happy and happy people just don’t kill their husbands.” I didn’t see one unhappy person spectating the Trials, even when it would start to rain (which was every hour interspersed with sunshine - Eugene weather is weird!).
- The Oiselle chicks are some of the coolest gals I've met. Serious about running. Serious about having a good time. Serious about creating unique, well made, and stylish clothing. In accordance with #5, I’ve never seen a happier group of girls – all active, fit, and fun. I’m honored to be a part of Oiselle.