Mar 12, 2021
When you have a talent, a gift, or awards to your name for a sport,
it is easy to rely on those to get things in life. Of course, you
work hard, but you also are boosted with constant praise and
recognition for what you can do.
When that sport is removed by personal choice or external force,
there is a reckoning that happens. Who am I? What do I do now? Do I
even matter anymore?
I've had few guests on the podcast who understand that experience
similar to mine. I believe that most can relate to the feeling of
having to back off from something you love or even step away
entirely, which is crushing but voluntarily choosing to when you
could keep going to work on a business, that can be hard to admit.
While no one is judging you, it can feel like you are wasting your
talent, that people are going to be disappointed in
And our guest today knows that all too well. Jesse Thomas is a
former professional triathlete, CEO of Picky Bars, podcast host, as
well as father to Zadie and Jude and husband to Lauren
We talked about struggling to feel like you are enough, figuring
out your identities, and how being an athlete of any
I mean athlete in the sense of anyone who participates, not
professional) can help make you a better person and better at what
you do outside of your sport.
How We Define Ourselves
While Jesse is well known as a former professional triathlete,
entrepreneur, and podcast host with his wife Lauren, he shares that
the largest part of how he defines himself personally is just his
family. The most important thing to him is being a great
“Priorities ebb and flow. We have specific times in our lives where
we have the best chance or ability to achieve a specific goal that
is finite. And in order to put time into that, you do need to
sacrifice other things for a little while,” he shares.
“As long as you're communicative about the length and duration and
depth of that sacrifice, then you can often get through
During Jesse’s time focusing on racing and Picky Bars, Lauren was
the primary parent, and now they’ve switched. With Lauren working
on a big project, Jesse is the primary parent.
“We certainly hope that we’re teaching them lessons about self-care
and the pursuit of things that bring you joy and hopefully make an
impact in the world.”
Writing a blog and doing a project with Triathlete Magazine made
Jesse realize the emotion he was carrying in the decision to stop
super thankful for everything, but I'm gonna move on to the next
phase of my life,” Jesse said.
felt really good. It felt it was a relief. Like I can now fully
pivot into the next phase of my life, which was around becoming
CEO for Picky Bars as the majority of my focus.”
Confidence is key
Confidence is the tool Jesse says he learned from racing and it
transcended into life with family and with running Picky Bars.
Confidence that it’s going to work out regardless of the challenge
you face. As athletes, we ride such roller coasters with injuries,
training, and races. But that teaches you a lot about business,
especially when it comes to identifying what you can and can’t, and
believing everything will work out in the end.
Picky Bars is a reflection of Jesse, Lauren, and Stephanie, the
founders. It’s a brand that promotes positive messages and in doing
things around healthy positive body image, sustainable
relationships with food, and inclusion.
"What what we want to do now is build it too, to a place where it's
making a super positive impact on all of our communities with,
great product, great messaging, great givebacks, and making it an
amazing place to work. “
Thank you to my wonderful sponsor Tracksmith, Athletic
Greens, and Momentous for sponsoring this episode of the Running
for Real Podcast.
Tracksmith is a Boston based running clothing
company that truly cares about the quality and care of their
running clothes. Running can be a demanding lifestyle for our
clothes, they definitely go through the wear and tear to where we
may be purchasing new clothes constantly. Tracksmith designers
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in mind with spots for your keys, phone, and fuel.
You can go here to
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Thank you to Jesse, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on