Vanessa Aniteye, NCAA Woman of the Year Top 30 nominee, shares how running took on a new meaning once she embraced the joy and challenges of motherhood. She explores how running has accompanied her life through her immigration from Germany, to her journey through the NCAA, and the birth of her son. As a mother and athlete, Vanessa is inspired to chase her athletic dreams and shatter the notion that motherhood and sports are mutually exclusive, even in the collegiate setting.
Melissa Tanaka, Oiselle athlete, reflects on her journey from uncertain beginnings to success. She shares her experience of joining the University of Pennsylvania's track team by chance and eventually thriving, despite initial injuries. Melissa's resilience, support from teammates, and self-compassion helped her achieve remarkable victories at Stanford. She emphasizes the importance of cherishing friendships, self-appreciation, embracing both strengths and weaknesses, and staying open to life's surprises. Melissa's story inspires us all to celebrate personal victories and look forward to what the future holds, on and off the track.