“I’m not trying to build some empire where I need to be liked by as many people as possible. I just want to be myself and be myself publicly—until I don’t anymore, then I’ll just shut down all my social media accounts.”
Stoked to welcome Lauren Fleshman to the podcast this week! Fleshman, who turns 37 on Wednesday, is a retired professional athlete who still maintains sponsorships with Oiselle and a number of other brands. She’s won two national titles, has represented the United States in numerous international competitions, and, in 2011, placed seventh in the 5,000m at the world championships in South Korea. These days, Fleshman wears a lot of hats: mom to two young children, wife to professional triathlete Jesse Thomas, co-founder of Picky Bars along with Thomas and professional marathoner Stephanie Bruce, coach of Little Wing, a small group of elite female runners based in Bend, Oregon, practicing writer, and one of running’s most outspoken advocates on a variety of topics and issues.
We talked about a lot of different things over the course of this 60-ish minute conversation: coaching, how the various coaches she worked with throughout her own athletic career have influenced her current perspective and philosophy, and what can be done to create more opportunities for coaches, especially females; Picky Bars, and how she and husband Jesse Thomas don’t let the business consume every moment of their lives; her recent recommitment to leaving the sport better than she found it and using her platform to spur meaningful change even though she’s no longer competing; her current relationship with running and what she misses most about being a professional athlete; what’s changed in the sport since she turned pro in 2003 and whether or not she’s worried about the sport’s future; the advice she’d give 21-year-old Lauren upon graduating college; writing, when it came into her life, and what her process looks like; and much, much more.
Related links, references, and resources:
— Dear Younger Me: “I need you to know, I PROMISE you, that the ultimate star you are chasing is further ahead than any shiny thing you see now,” Fleshman wrote in a letter to her younger self in 2017. “The way you get there is to protect your health and protect your love of the sport above all, even as you reach for the shiny goals right in front of you.”
— “I know I’ll work harder if I’m in alignment with my purpose,” Fleshman told Outside in a piece called ‘How To Master The Side Gig.’ “The theme connecting my projects is: How do I help share the things I’ve worked really hard to learn with a larger audience?”
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Music and editing for this episode of the morning shakeout podcast by John Summerford at BaresRecords.com
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