Not only is she a world-class athlete, Lauren also manages to somehow squeeze being a mother, author, entrepreneur, and activist into her very busy schedule... all in a day’s work. And if that weren’t enough, she’s now the face of Stance’s 2020 International Women's Day campaign. We recently sat down with Lauren to chat about such topics as running, writing, five signature socks, and three cups of coffee.
This is your fifth signature sock design with Stance. Can you give a little background to the significance of the design?
“Resist” is personal and political. It is a call to resist apathy in order to be better, and do better. In sports it’s about pushing away that voice that tells you to not bother taking any risks. And politically, it’s a recognition of how progress is made and rights have been extended. We are celebrating 100 years of women’s right to vote, which was accomplished through resistance to the idea that we were mentally unfit to do so. In these next 100 years, how can we use our voices and our votes to resist other forms of oppression? We have a lot of work to do.
You wear a lot of hats and are always opening new doors for your self. World class runner, Mom, entrepreneur, female activist, writer...the list goes on. Do you subscribe to the notion that it’s possible to achieve balance or is there just beauty in the chaos of it all?
Nah, balance is never achieved, but integration is possible. I focus on making sure I have a shared purpose in anything I do, and it creates less tension. It doesn’t mean I do everything well at the same time, but each thing I’m doing pushes the rock forward. For me that rock is serving my community well. Sometimes I do that with poetry. Sometimes with snacks.
We know you are recovering from an injury, but what does your run or train routine usually look like? How have you modified?
Tendon injuries can take time, and I find that if I run every 3 days or so, the tissue can adapt better. Progress is slow this way, but definitely steady. I cross country ski a few days a week when there’s snow and ride my mountain bike the other days. I love technical rocky trails and long climbs on my bike! My Stance running socks happen to be ideal for all those activities.
Any tips to someone that may want to begin running, but isn’t sure where or how to start?
Start with a walk and run program. Every other day for 4 weeks, alternate running and walking. The first time, run for 1 min and walk for 4 min, repeating that until you’ve been outside for 30 min or so. The next time add 30 seconds to each running part, and take 30 seconds off the walking part. Follow this pattern until you are running 30 min continuously. This gives your muscles, tendons, and bones time to adapt to this new motion, and lets your fitness come around gradually. It’s like that old story of the farmer who carries the baby calf from the barn to the house every day, and as the calf gradually grows in size, the farmer gradually grows in strength until she finds herself.
What does running do for you physically, mentally, spiritually?
It’s a time machine for me, connecting me to other places I’ve run and people I’ve run with. It connects me with storms I’ve seen and conversations I’ve had. It connects me with younger versions of myself and helps me see how I’ve grown.
How important are quality run socks as part of your overall kit?
Absolutely critical! The feet make the magic and the feet deserve the best. Ain’t nobody got time for blisters or holes or socks that slide down.
"Ain't nobody got time for blisters or holes or socks that slide down."Lauren Fleshman
Your new socks are not only constructed with stance Feel 360, providing moisture wicking and anti-microbial properties, but our new INFIKNIT technology which guarantees them for life. We think this is a win-win for the consumer and a more eco-friendly long term manufacturing mindset. How important is this to you and u you our daily mindset on how you buy?
First of all I want to thank you for making my socks out of INFIKNIT in addition to Feel 360. It means a lot to me that Stance is making the planet a priority, and that my new sock gets to be one of the first with this new technology. Like a lot of people, I’ve been slow to adjust my spending habits to match my values for the planet. I didn’t want to look at the problem too closely for a long time. I’m in a stage right now of paying attention, not looking away, and noticing what I’m in the habit of doing and challenging myself to do better. A year from now I want to be able to see big changes in my overall behavior to prioritize the planet, and that means taking it step by step. Buying socks that last is a great step. What I’d like next from Stance is to hire the ghostbusters to destroy the sock eating monster in most people’s laundry room.
Can you explain the Infiknit technology?
By increasing durability on the parts of the sock that get the most friction, socks with INFIKNIT weaved in technology are guaranteed for life. That’s thousands of runs! These socks will outlive most marriages! It’s crazy when you think about it.
Do you listen to music while training? What’s your go-to song/play list?
I listen to podcasts on my easy days, my favorite being “The Moth” which is full of everyday people telling stories. I learn so much from other people’s stories.
Favorite guilty pleasure right now?
That third coffee.
Any new endeavors we should know about?
I’m writing a book about being a girl and woman in the sports industry, and coaching a world class group of professional women runners in Bend called Little Wing Athletics. Follow our progress toward the Olympic Trials at @runlittlewing on Instagram.