Oh my goodness.
Yesterday I read this article in Runner’s World (Oiselle Wants to Be a Different Kind of Apparel Brand) which led to then reading this very long thread of complaints on the site Get Off My Internets.
I’m all for venting your frustrations in an anonymous online forum if it makes you feel better. I’m embarrassed to admit that I used to spend way too much time reading threads on the Letsrun messageboards. The problem is, there are a lot of things written on these boards that are entertaining, but many of them are false.
For example, every year since the freaking beginning of the internet, Letsrun puts out an April Fools page. One of the stories was this gem, about Leo Manzano turning down a deal with Oiselle for a sponsorship with Hanes. Someone on the GOMI thread posted a link to this story and everyone thought it was real. Eventually someone with some sense alerted them that it was an April Fools joke.
Another criticism I read (and one that was frequently repeated) was that Oiselle clothes fall apart in the wash. I’ve never had something from any company fall apart in the wash. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but I’m also not dumb enough to believe something written anonymously on the internet. You wouldn’t believe the things my students used to “write” in their “papers” that were copied and pasted from something a random person wrote on Ask.com. Anyone can write anything on the internet. I’m doing it right now.
I’ve been on the team for three years. There have been a lot of changes in those three years. Some people have left and a lot more have been added to the team. And some of those people are probably annoying in their own unique way. Maybe I’m one of them. I post a lot of photos of my kid, I know this. At least I don’t post photos of my kid’s poop on Facebook. I don’t understand grown adults who are obsessed with Disney, but I’m sure they have their reasons. There are some people who are reeeally into taking selfies in their new outfits every day. Or close up photos of their GPS watches. Or photos of their watches while looking down at their legs and feet. I don’t think it’s fair to lump everyone on the team together and say we’re all the same. In fact, the point of the team is to bring people together- fast runners, slower runners, ultra runners and 800 meter runners. I like that part of the team.
Lastly, about the Flock memberships… unless you’ve ever been in the position of being an emerging elite athlete, you really don’t know what it’s like. It’s difficult to get a sponsorship unless you’re already an NCAA champion. I was in that position ten years ago and it was very stressful. I ended up on a great team with a great coach, and I had a lot of things taken care of for me (free shoes, uniform, coaching, travel, access to facilities, massage, sports medicine, etc) but I also had to balance that with working to pay rent. I wasn’t working full time, and couldn’t afford health insurance. Even if you are working full time and have health insurance, there are a lot of expenses that come with training and racing at a high level. It’s tough to stay with it year after year, and I’ve seen a lot of talented runners quit because they couldn’t make ends meet. That Flock membership money could help someone pay for their health insurance. Or it might help with travel to a big meet. I think it’s impressive that the first round of memberships sold out so fast, and I hope that money gives someone the push they need to stay with it for another year.
I could go on and on, but I won’t. I’ve had some of these thoughts on my mind today and felt compelled to share them. If you have any questions about the team or want to know more about the Flock memberships, I’ll be happy to answer.
All opinions are definitely my own.