When we first started talking with Sasha Gollish it was obvious to us that this woman had a fierce competitive spirit. One that has been alive in every sport that she has taken on: from downhill skiing to cycling to ultimate frisbee to running! She is passionate about being a role model for young athletes to lead by example and send the message that hard work and dedication can lead you to your dreams.
At the age of 34 she has already accomplished so much in the skiing and cycling worlds and yet she has just scratched the surface of what she wants to accomplish in her running. She is one of Canada's best 1500m runners with a personal best of 4:07.08 and looks to be at the top of her game for the Rio Olympics. We can't wait to help support her toward her dreams. Enjoy hearing more from Sasha herself.
From the moment I saw the Oiselle Manifesto I fell in love, only after that did I discover their amazing clothes. But the manifesto spoke to my heart and shares so many of the values I hold not only for training but for life. My training philosophy is centered around Deliberate Play (deliberate practice + having fun) and Stronger Together (you only get faster and stronger by working with an awesome group of training partners); so as you can see my philosophies weave through all 7 “Principles of Flight.”
I am not your typical runner. I did not go to a NCAA school, like many of my Canadian running peers. And while I did run in high school and into University (what we call College in Canada) I never took it very seriously. About 16 months ago (April 2014) I made my return to competitive running. During my almost 15 year hiatus I learned to play ultimate frisbee at a competitive level, then raced bikes competitively and dabbled in multi-sport. All at the same time I kept Alpine Ski Coaching and working through my coaching levels. While my long term athlete development was not traditional, I was always building capacity and having a lot of fun doing it all.
Last summer, July 2014, I headed over to Europe to do some racing. I stayed in a running mecca, Leuven, Belgium. At my last race, I met one of the Oiselle team elites, Lauren Wallace (as she out-kicked me in the mile!); When I saw Oiselle on her uniform I was intrigued as to who she was running for. When I got back to the hotel I looked up Oiselle and that was when I introduced to the manifesto. Europe was the experience of a lifetime and I knew I wanted to pursue the running dreams I held back in high school.
When I returned home I made a bold move and quit my job. I had been working at an amazing company as an engineering consultant. The hours were long, I had a commute everyday to get to work, and it just was not conducive to putting in long hours of training. While I was really nervous to leave a great job I knew I could always find another one later on, but that this window to be an elite runner would be short.
2015 has been an exciting year. The Pan Am Games were hosted in my backyard in Toronto, CAN. With Canada hosting we were committed to sending the best-of-the-best to represent our country. On June 14th I had to be in the top 2 for the 1500m to make that team. With many girls vying for the spot I earned the opportunity to compete the very last night the window was open at the Portland Invite. On my first national team I managed to medal, despite someone stepping on the back of my shoe 150 meters into the race and then running with one and half shoes for the rest of the 1500m. Although the IAAF sent me an invitation to compete in Beijing this year I will not be granted that opportunity to compete.
More than anything I am so excited to start my professional running career. I am excited to share my story with other young women, not only in the running community, but with all young girls that want to be athletes. I am so excited to join the Oiselle community and to be part of something so much bigger than myself; to promote women’s running, at any level, to be part of team that cares so much about each other, and to working with a team that whole-heartedly believes in clean sport.