“She will need her sisterhood.”
It feels like an odd time to “celebrate” Women’s History Month.
November 2016 may have been the closest I’ll ever come in my life to seeing a woman named President of the United States. And it didn’t happen. Not only did it not happen, but we ended up with the opposite. The opposite of someone who promotes gender equality or even understands it.
What would persistance be without a light to guide the way? Without mile markers to show progress, even the smallest amount? This collision of need, this white-knuckled hope of something to look to reminds me of listening to Diana Nyad speak a few years ago in Green Bay.
She’s the woman who conquered the solo open water swim from Cuba to Florida in 2013. And she did it in her 60s. Her message of empowerment, dedication and never-give-upedness is enough to make the greatest cynic into a believer of the human spirit.
She swam in open water for days with nothing but a jellyfish net over her body at night. It’s a great achievement of one body, right? But her message wasn’t about singleness. It was about “the team.”
Of course no one was helping her swim stroke after stroke after stroke. But they were there, on the boat nearby. And they had helped her prepare for the third, fourth and finally fifth attempt at the trek of more than 100 miles.
Swimming is a lot like running; both are about control — of your mind and body. You have to tell it to get up, get moving and then, at just right time, you have to tell it go faster, pull harder and just plain do things you didn’t think it could.
No team needed for that, right?
“Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That’s their natural and first weapon. She will need her sisterhood,” Gloria Steinem said.
For me, for a long time, there wasn’t a team. I got up, got going and then did it again the next day, the next race. But things change. The same week in 2014 when I heard Diana talk inspiringly about her 110.86 mile open water swim, I joined a very special team.
First, Oiselle is a women’s running apparel company. But that definition doesn’t get at the soul that is The O. It’s women going somewhere — on their feet and in their lives. Together.
To me, this team is about encouraging women to be brave, take chances, speak up and just fuck shit up. Oiselle preaches #runlove with an amazing message that should resonate with every runner, man or woman: head up, wings out.
It seems like that message is particularly important right now; let’s pass it on to others. Together.