Juggling work-life balance can be a real three-ring circus, which Lauren Fleshman & Jesse Thomas know first hand. As business owners, professional athletes, and a married couple with two young children, the well of sage wisdom and cautionary tales is deep, and they spare no shame in giving it to you straight. Led by listener questions, this new podcast is all about the careful and chaotic intersection of sports, business, and family.
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Jesse and Lauren discuss gender in sport, and the challenges that DSD athletes face in light of the recent the Caster Semenya case. They share how they mentally prepare for races, and talk about wisdom from coaches throughout their careers. Lauren talks about racing after injury, and how she worked with Mel Lawrence to recover from a string of injuries and come back to set a 5K PR at Payton Jordan 2019 (go Mel!). They also dig in to who does what when it comes to late-night baby duties. Plus, Jesse admits to how nerdy he got trying to figure out whether he set a world record for fastest 5K on crutches last week. Episode brought to you by Jaybird (use code workplaylove for 20% off) [Read More]
Jesse plans to smash a 5K... on crutches. He talks about the race while Lauren talks about her smokin' 1:17:27 at the Eugene Half Marathon, and the difficulties of taking a race seriously while also taking care of the kids. This week's listener questions include discussions on alcohol's effect on athletic performance (and whether or not they imbibe before a race), fatigue and low iron levels in athletes, maintaining career motivation, and running while trying to conceive. Plus! Some details about the upcoming launch of Peformance Granola Flavor #2: Sassy Molassy. Episode brought to you by Jaybird. [Read More]
Listener questions are all about the hard stuff this week. Jesse and Lauren talk about racing (or not racing) after you’ve lost a loved one. They offer some dating advice for late bloomers (like them). They talk about how to navigate relationships when you’ve got a big training commitment. And they share their thoughts on message board trolls. [Read More]
Lauren and Jesse are back on the road, traveling back to Bend from San Francisco where Jesse had foot surgery. WPL listener questions including topics like: Training in the hot summer months, food relationships when you’re training vs. when you’re in an off season, they offer some bike-buying advice to someone new to triathlon, and they share the business side of Picky with a talk about founders’ equity. So get ready—it’s 7 hours to Bend, and you’re in the passenger seat for this week’s WPL adventure. [Read More]
Jesse’s down for the count with a navicular fracture that’s nearly identical to the one he suffered after Wildflower, and the injury is making balancing work and family life tough. Lauren and Jesse answer listener questions about how to navigate uncomfortable situations like supporting your competitors, skipping workouts when you’re not feeling it (and what to do the next day), finding balance on rest days, and moving in with your partner. Some great follow up on the Athena/Clydesdale discussion from episode 38 closes out the episode. [Read More]
Lauren and Jesse answer listener questions during the car ride from Bend to Eugene—road noise and all—about topics such as how to identify, deal with, and hopefully avoid injury; Fostering healthy food relationships for themselves and their kids; The Athena/Clydesdale division and its implications regarding body weight and performance; and a follow up on the interpersonal implications of sandbagging. [Read More]
Lauren’s got an exciting year building up for Wilder, and Jesse—with a recent injury—is finding that the plans for his year are changing. Today’s show dives into hard-to-answer questions: How do you push through mental fatigue during a race? How does Picky Bars decide to follow (or buck) food trends like added sugar? What’s the best way to recover? And when do you decide to take your business to the next level vs. letting it settle in so you can spend more time with family? [Read More]
When you’re training hard and going after a big dream, not much is more disappointing than an injury. This is especially tough when the window of opportunity to achieve your goal is small or fleeting. So what do you do when that happens? Today, Lauren and Jesse answer questions about the highs and lows of play—and how re-setting expectations can have a big impact on your mental health and your race performance. [Read More]
Jesse gives an update on Picky's current supply chain issues, and how they're managing the unexpected snafu to hopefully avoid a massive out of stock issue like last year. Listener Qs include topics on pacing strategies for racing, managing the post-race come down, and turning off work-mode when it's time to give your attention elsewhere. [Read More]
Advice for creating your own training plan, dealing with the urge to poop while racing, sleep training your baby, and jealousy in relationships, especially on-again-off-again types. Plus a review of Lauren's epic journey to New York for Indoor Nationals and Jesse's time as solo dad with two sick kids in Bend's recent Snowpocalypse. [Read More]
When you’re dealing with an injury, where do you draw the line between seeking an answer vs. changing your sport goals? How do you manage workloads to prevent burnout from cumulative stress? When it comes to starting a family vs. starting your career, how do you work with your partner to find a time that works for you both? Plus tips for raising awareness for a brand new business. [Read More]
Today’s show is all about the tough stuff. Where’s the line between pushing through a challenging race and taking a DNF? What do you do when your training is disrupted by big life changes? How do you split up responsibilities at home to balance emotional labor? Lauren and Jesse answer these questions and also chat about athlete sponsorship from their perspectives as athletes and business owners. [Read More]
Jesse and Lauren recount their experiences after the Great Nordeen Nordic race including Jesse's unfortunate crash (yes there's video), and how his triathlon training came in handy. Lauren shares why her inner monologue during the race was “I hate this” on repeat. For listener Qs, they discuss weight loss, how to train for distance when you’re a fast-twich athlete, what the Flomases do to play as a family and as a couple, and whether or not to go pro as a triathlete. [Read More]
Lauren and Jesse discuss adding strength training to running plans, prioritizing sleep over training, and habits they developed in sport that they needed to un-learn in other areas of their lives. On the family side, sharing parenting duties and what they do when they differ on a parenting approach. Jesse talks about being comfortable with failure as a business owner, and the latest Picky Bars product, Performance Granola! Plus, how to shoot a (well-mannered) snot rocket. [Read More]
You can experience big stage wins in life, and some days the wins are from how many bites of food your kid is willing to eat at dinner. This episode is full of work-play-love balance: How to avoid feeling mediocre while juggling parenting, sport, and career. How to set exciting goals that won't lead to burnout or injury. How to adjust to a new child in the family. And how you can change your role in a business you co-own with your spouse. [Read More]
With the holiday break just days away, Lauren and Jesse answer some fun questions on play and love. The two talk about proper running technique and their favorite shoes. They discuss what to do when you’re at peak training and your hunger gets wild. Lauren gives some great advice on breathing while running—especially if your breathing feels out of control. And the two tackle a question about what to do when you’re dating a non-athlete.[Read More]
With the holiday break just days away, Lauren and Jesse answer some fun questions on play and love. The two talk about proper running technique and their favorite shoes. They discuss what to do when you’re at peak training and your hunger gets wild. Lauren gives some great advice on breathing while running—especially if your breathing feels out of control. And the two tackle a question about what to do when you’re dating a non-athlete. [Read More]
Last week, Lauren had a successful race at the club cross country championships and Jesse went on a spontaneous 20-mile long run that prompted a dose of work/play/love advice from Lauren. Hot on the heels of the week’s athletic achievements, the two jump in to your questions: How to support a partner dealing with injury, how to build running speed, how to maintain self-worth and combat negative self-talk, what a day in the life looks like for the Flomas family. [Read More]
Jesse’s solo parenting and Zadie’s transition from infant to toddler is in full swing, but he’s kept the Flomas house in check and even found time to sneak in some long runs. Lauren had a very work-play-love week of travel which culminated in a trip back home to search for the perfect Christmas tree with the fam. This week, Lauren and Jesse discuss what to do in your off season, how to deal with the urge to poop during races, coming back from a bike crash, and playing the comparison game. [Read More]
Whether it’s running in jungle-like conditions, celebrating Black Friday for your business, or navigating your infant’s love of the word “no,” there’s never a dull moment or lack of work-play-love balance. Lauren and Jesse are back from vacay and ready for your questions: Helping an athlete celebrate success, achieving balance in the information age, moving on from a coaching relationship, and applying for a job as a young, female athlete. [Read More]
The Flomases are back from a work/play/hurt trip in Seattle where Lauren ran a cross country race that was "equal parts awful and amazing." The two share a bunch of NEW news about a new Picky product and a new segment on the pod. Then, the WPL couple tackles your questions about: how to transition from one endurance sport to triathlon, how to climb out of a post-race funk, managing asthma while running, and maintaining your period while training. [Read More]
After two weeks off, Jesse describes how much of him missed racing Kona this year (a pinky nail) while Lauren talks about her home experience with both kids and the latest coaching progressions. This week's questions are around: Diversity in triathlon and endurance sports, how/when to put athletics on the backseat and start a family, balancing who you were as an athlete with who you are now, and finding and evaluating biz ideas. [Read More]
This time last year Lauren and Jesse had their second child and then Jesse immediately got on a plane to race Ironman World Championships in Kona. Yeah, that was crazy. This year is decidedly more tame, with birth-day cakes (the first is for mom, Lauren says) and still a trip to the Big Island - for Picky Bars, not triathlon, business. Hey, this ain't called "work, play, love" for nothing. Listener questions this episode include breakthroughs, eating elephants, and off-season sanity. Enjoy!
Picky is back to full steam, the first out-of-state Wilder is coming up, and Jude's finally found the joy in riding a bike! (Oh how we hold onto some childhood fun as adults...) This episode tackles some serious topics, including the prevalence of disordered eating in sports and Jesse's personal struggle with binge/purge habits. Also chatted about: their paths towards choosing sport as a profession and how they decided the time was right to make a baby. Bow-chica-ow-ow.
The first week of kindergarten is in the books, which sparks a convo on developing community, making adult friendships, and deciding on childcare. Business gets its airtime with Lauren’s Wilder retreat coming up and a Picky update, and sport rounds out this episode with Jesse’s future racing plans, advice for seeking sponsorship or dealing with disappointing workouts, and the comparison trap, which has recently sparked a bit of a turf war at Picky HQ.
They say to treasure the journey because it’s over in a flash, but in low times when you want to tell those people to “shove it”, how do still show up and give it your best? Whether it’s feeling subpar at a start line or hiding in the janitor’s closet during the first kindergarten drop off, Lauren and Jesse talk about embracing it, or at least holding it together. Other topics include when to move on from a job, being a “fun guy” boss, and chafing. Meow.
Jesse and Lauren get real about how setbacks in athletics conditioned the risk-taking muscles needed to take big business risks, especially with their personal piggy bank on the line. Mollie Tibbetts’s memory inspires a chat on running safely without allowing evil to steal the joy of the sport, and Jesse relives his first Ironman experience. Lastly and lightheartedly, they name their dream podcast guest hosts…
This special edition episode covers technical topics like how the human body works, explained in a way a five year old can understand… Because it’s Lauren and Jesse’s five year old son, Jude, explaining them! Jesse sits down with his eldest child for this adorable bonus content, full of feel-good chuckles and some big picture enlightenment when the roles reversed and Jude got to ask the questions.
Burdened by potential, attaching value in the wrong places, and finding motivation rather than anxiety in working with others… They’re all discussed, and it’s up to you to decide which sphere of work, play, love to apply them to. Lauren and Jesse give first-hand advice and open up about these listener-submitted topics, and Jesse finally learns what the term “wet blanket” means, after all these years being called one during peak training season.
If wakeboard acrobatics and wrangling a dozen kids are to pulling sleds and carrying logs through snowy woods, this family vacation was totally like a scene from Rocky. Lauren, Jesse, and a proverbial Picky Bars emerge ready for their big test - not a vengeance fight against a Russian - a bar relaunch! That excitement carries into a lively chat led by listener questions on dealing with illness during training, acute injury risk, encouraging sport to kids, and if Flomas was ever a real thing.
From dealing with a DNF to sexual harassment in coaching, new Picky Bars developments to marketing yourself as an athlete, Lauren and Jesse cover a range of topics with an even wider range of emotions in this episode. Listener questions drive the conversation after a “What’s Going On” segment about co-dreaming as a couple and the difficulties of transition times, especially as married business owners relentlessly pursuing a balance of sport, work, and family. Plus: The #FlatBruce secret!
Jude's sparkly turquoise shoes and Jesse's heart rate monitor strap accessorize another episode of Work, Play, Love. In search of balance on a yoga mat and in re-entry after the big Challenge Roth block, the Flomas fam turns to another batch of listener questions to drive some thoughtful conversations about a wide variety of topics like: Avoiding injury and burnout, periodization in training blocks, the cost of chasing down a pro dream, things they wish they'd done before parenthood, and the challenges of raising confident kids amidst society's gender stereotypes. It's a doozy from all angles!
Lauren and Jesse talk candidly about our massive out of stock pains. As small business owners, they discuss the implications on both personal finances and the integrity of the brand when a product shortage hits - and it hit HARD. This segues into the first listener question on pushing through the pain in training and racing, followed by "sharenting" on social media, defining and pursuing your own idea of success, and maintaining the core of a brand while giving employees the reins to let it evolve and grow.
This special episode about the “Hallmark” of the “Cool Races in Cool Places” tour covers the actual race (spoiler: podium day!) and the circus of family race-vacations, especially while Jesse takes what he says might be one last crack at competing at this highest level. Listener questions spark discussions on 140.6 course nutrition, pulling support crew + parent duty, and improving swim + transition times. It’s another highly relevant work/play/love case study, and doesn’t disappoint on laughs or inspiration.
This week's balance of work, play, love is less of a flashy juggling act and more of a clumsy mess. Lauren + Jesse keep it real on managing it all (or not), diffusing fights with snacks (works for kids and adults alike), and what to do when you want to fix your partner's problem for them. Lauren reflects on how she managed her nerves with running and now with performing music (Jesse suggests sandbagging?) then continue on about body image, coach-athlete relationships & the "happiness differential."
After Lauren's Wilder Retreat and Jesse's weekend of dad duty during peak Challenge Roth training, the couple chats about helping each other ease back into “normal” life feeling rejuvenated rather than frazzled after time away. This week’s listener questions spur a lively chat about energy stores, the struggles that can come with sharing a common “space” with a partner, and aging in sport, including Lauren’s mindset after retirement and what Jesse’s next phase after pro triathlon might look like. Jesse and Jude share a special moment over the NBA Playoffs, although it comes with some "bad news" as Jude says.
Some sage advice to their younger athletic selves morphs into lessons learned during their on-again, off-again relationship, which segues conveniently down the life path to exercising while pregnant and how to support a postpartum partner. Lauren sheds light on the reality that it took a while to feel “like her” again after baby #1, and Jesse admits he was more nervous for Pole, Pedal, Paddle than Kona. They finish with some tips on making time for creative projects you might be putting off, which - shocker - applies to working out as well.
Lauren and Jesse's pre- Pole, Pedal, Paddle (The "Bend World Championships"!) chat is a primo segue into a listener question about getting into a good headspace for race day. They continue on to address co-parenting communication, society’s obsession with diet trends (and the frustrations it poses both as athletes and food business owners), and how well they’ve stayed the path on their younger selves’ life plan. Spoiler: Jesse has a spreadsheet for that.
This episode covers the whole spectrum of work-play-love, with talks about mental health, physical health, body, and brain. Jesse discusses his feelings about his first second place finish at Wildflower and what it's like having the whole damn family in tow for a big race. Listener questions bring up topics like injury prevention, confidence and disordered eating issues, and the educational and in intuitive balance needed to run a small business.
Race season's right around the corner - On top of Jesse's thoughts going into Wildflower #7 he and Lauren answer questions about their relationship with exercising together, what makes a good coach, how to know when it's time to consider a move to the next step, and what they call the hardest part of business: hiring and having employees.
It's Boston Marathon morning, which has Lauren and Jesse buzzing after Des Linden’s big win. Topics discussed in this episode include managing projects and to do lists, finding rhythm after a break, parent guilt, and the idea of Picky bringing on investors. Finally, the importance of being more than "just an athlete."
Lauren and Jesse let their listeners in on the amazing secret benefits of... Dinner and a Movie! Other topics include adding value outside of performance while pursuing athletic sponsorship, and some the entrepreneurial processes around HR things like hiring, healthcare, and workplace culture. [Read More]
Lauren and Jesse come out of the podcast gates hot with everything from setting work/life boundaries to the value of sports pursuit as a child in their debut episode. Sage wisdom and dad jokes ensue. [Read More]
"Because that's just what the world needs -- another podcast!"
What Lauren and Jesse - the married couple behind Picky Bars, two professional athletic careers, and two kids - really wanted was a way to connect with other folks juggling all of life's craziness while pursuing their passions. It's a real three-ring circus sometimes, but that's what makes it fun, right?!
Guided by listener-submitted questions, each episode will feature candid, unrehearsed conversation about all things sports, business, family, and the sometimes dizzying struggle of keeping balance between them. Also a heavy dose of dad jokes and bad puns, because that's how Jesse rolls.
Send your question about sport, biz, family, or a combination of all three to Lauren and Jesse HERE
A two-time USA 5K champ and five-time NCAA champ, Lauren held a seat at the head of the American distance running table from high school all the way through her professional career with Nike and Oiselle. Now retired from pro running, Lauren's known for her writing, coaching, and advocacy for sport, as well as being a mom of two and CMO for Picky Bars. She's full of sage advice and a quirky sense of humor, as well as a not-so-hidden musical talent and love of baked goods.
Between four hour training rides and riding the tandem to preschool pickup, swimming laps and wading in a pool of financial data, running marathons and running home for date night, Jesse's got the pro triathlete/CEO/husband/dad thing going on full force. A two-time Ironman champion and Kona finisher, Jesse's a firm believer in keeping healthy work-life balance whether it's peak training season or off-season, including making time for a beer (or two) at the end of the day.
Rob Krar's first 50k was supposed to be a "one and done" affair. If you're looking to push your distance limits too, he shares some tips for surviving + thriving in ultramarathons.
Gender in sport and the Caster Semenya case, preparing mentally for racing, returning to form after injuries, and their roles in childcare. Global Running Day + a Jaybird discount!