After coaching Littlewing for 8 years, Lauren Fleshman is taking a sabbatical from coaching duties. Oiselle fully supports Lauren's empowered decision-making, and also salutes her commitment to excellence in all that she does. Team Littlewing will continue with Oiselle's support; stay tuned for updates and future plans!
NOTES ON A SABBATICAL
Some professional news. As of September 1, 2021, I’m taking a coaching sabbatical. My day to day involvement with Littlewing Athletics, the professional running team I have coached for the previous eight years, is on pause. Team Littlewing will continue; its exact form (and personnel) is still TBD.
The support for our team from Oiselle, the Leskos, our medical support crew, our Volée teammates, and our local community has been incredible. All that support kept us going through the pandemic and shifting plans. It filled us with gratitude, leading to some magical performances when we got the chance to race.
A couple highlights. In the last two years, Carrie took the marathon by storm, raced in the Olympic Trials, and created a human, little Lewis. Collier successfully transitioned from the steeplechase and started ripping it up on the trails. And all five track athletes, Mel, Maddie, Angel, Rebecca, and Sadi, ran lifetime bests this season, and qualified for the Olympic Trials. Our club records have all fallen, and multiple athletes head into next year with a World Standard under their belt. We built our teams of support. We helped each other navigate moves, grief, and life changes. We took proactive roles in growth as human beings beyond sport, and developed more trust in ourselves.
What we have accomplished is remarkable.
It has been hard to admit that I needed a break. I have spent the last 26 years orienting myself around peak performance in just about every way, from my education to my professional and personal life.
You can’t excel at the pointy end of any profession without passion and enthusiasm, and burnout threatens to scorch both.
I still have so much to give. I’ll be spending my coaching sabbatical funneling my passion for this sport into some broader issues in sport and society with Oiselle, and working hard on my book. I’ll be in the mountains, reconnecting with my own personal love of running, training for the Salomon Broken Arrow Skyrace, and more races TBD. I’ll be reading, learning, listening, and making more time on the weekends for stillness and spontaneity and hugs, the ultimate battery chargers.
Sometimes, doing what we need to do for our health and wellbeing will disrupt stability for others. It just does. I hate that part so much. I tried very hard to power through, not wanting to disappoint people I care about. To be met with support and encouragement from every member of our team has meant the world to me.