Christine Babcock is a running legend (I mean check out her Wikipedia page!). I first watched her race in Eugene at the '08 Olympic Trials, one of a rare breed of high schoolers competing at the pro level. She held the national high school 1600m record (4:33.82) from 2008 to 2014 when Alexa Ephraimson broke it. I followed CB a bit through college at UW, and knew that along with her successes (leading her Dawgs team to an NCAA XC victory!) she experienced the challenges of injury. But it was Kristin Metcalf who in her wisdom got CB together with Oiselle. That woman knows her running, and her people. Oiselle sponsored Christine in 2013, and brought her on at the Nest in 2015 coming off of her foot surgery (navicular fx).
Christine lived with my family for a bit as she was recuperating from her surgery and I saw her progress from crutches to boot to limping, and then back to running. I also saw her teach my youngest dude how to make the best cookies, saw her nurture all of her relationships with close-knit family and friends, and witnessed her work through a difficult time of self-definition. She gets a gold star for all of it.
We were not surprised she ran 1:15:21 last month for her first half marathon, and we won't be surprised if she decides to put herself on the start line at the 2020 Olympic Trials. Although we will miss her daily presence at the Nest, CB will be an absolutely fantastic occupational therapist. Thank you for being a permanent part of our #runfamily, Christine, and a legendary Nest-er! So much love!
The last year has been a year of taking chances. Of trying new things, letting the excitement of what could be outweigh the doubts and fear of failure. As I began reflecting on what sparked this change in me, I know it has everything to do with being surrounded by community.
Watching other people go after their dreams ignited the realization within me that I too should go after mine. The experience of seeing people walk through the emotions of going after a dream and the appreciation they carried for the opportunity to do so, no matter what the outcome, inspired me. The dreams I had been entertaining as “probably not” slowly transitioned into “why not” and “when”. I found myself convinced I should try things I have never tried before, knowing that it might not be perfect and it could go disastrously (or surprisingly well), but that that was part of the process and the fun of it.
I tried road racing. I moved back to Bend. I started trying line-dancing lessons. I decided to run a half marathon. With each decision to take a chance, I gained a little more confidence to step out the next time a “probably not” dream occupied space in my mind.
One of those “probably not” dreams was a dream I have held since 7th grade, the dream of becoming an Occupational Therapist. From 7th grade until college, I said I wanted to be an Occupational Therapist. Then the weight of more schooling, the financial burden of grad school, and the reality of how “adult” that decision felt sank in. My childhood dream became a “probably not” and I threw myself into other opportunities that arose.
Last fall the “probably not” OT dream resurfaced. I found myself entertaining the thought of applying, slightly scared off by the very real potential of rejection, but also intrigued by the possibility of it. Starting this fall, I will be enrolled in the University of Washington’s Master’s of Occupational Therapy program.
With the start of new chapter, comes the close of another chapter. In the summer of 2015, Oiselle embraced me with open arms after foot surgery. They welcomed me in as a member of the Nest and for the last 2 years have entertained my love for baking, supported my running dreams, and cheered me along every step of the way. With bittersweet excitement, today I fly away from the Nest, carrying with me new friendships, an abundance of memories, and immense gratitude.
Head up wings out,