Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of Tuesday Chat with Team Strava! Our “Spotlight On” series aims to shine the light on our teammates who work behind the scenes within Strava. They are casual conversations that touch upon passions, hobbies, accomplishments and aspirations.
Today we’re going to be chatting with Jesse from the Strava People Team.
Q: Hi Jesse! Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do at Strava.
A: Well hello there! I am the dog dad of one very spotted and pretty Dalmatian named Watson. She is the princess of my household, hence my mentioning her first.
I am also a plant dad to over 100 plants. Last but not least, I happened to be married to the world's best husband; he’s the heart-felt heartthrob, and I’m the cool yet mysterious gaymer. It works.
As for what I do at Strava, I help find the amazing talent and community of people that make Strava the team you know and love. (takes a bow) We’re building a diverse team that will help grow our values, our work, and of course …our endlessly hilarious Slack banter. It’s a fun job.
Q: Speaking of company values, do you have a favorite?
A: That's an easy one for me, it's anti-racism. Strava’s clear commitment to anti-racism was one of the first things that caught my eye and ultimately convinced me to join the team. A lot of companies just put "we care about DEI" on their careers page. We’re not one of those companies. We do the work; we live out our values, and I love it.
Q: Any tips for anyone interested in becoming a dog or plant parent?
A: For plants - My best tip is that an expensive plant here is just a weed somewhere else. Wait it out, and it won’t be expensive for long.
For dogs - I have two for you:
Do your research - Get a dog that fits your lifestyle. If you're active, get a dog that will enjoy being out with you. If you prefer to watch Netflix, get a dog that will want to lay on the couch with you.
Patience is a virtue. - Remember that you're learning to communicate with them just as they're learning to communicate with you, so have fun and enjoy your new best friend!
Both - Plants and dogs are living beings that with the right love and care can thrive into something beautiful.
Q: When you’re not busy with work, how do you like to spend your time?
A: As you can probably guess, I spend a lot of time caring for and growing my indoor jungle. I like to do a little bit of jungle care each day. It keeps me Zen. But when I'm not surrounded by my indoor plants, you can find me being led by Watson on a new hiking trail. Being out in nature is such a great feeling and it's one of our family's favorite activities. Watson grew up a city dog in Philadelphia, but we’ve been taking her on major hikes since she was a pup. Anytime she hears a leash or a car door open, she’s ready to go. Otherwise, you can find me and my husband spending time at local markets, museums, or other cliche things that make me seem even cooler than you initially thought.
Q: Sounds like family time is a top priority - any upcoming family trips or adventures planned?
A: Funny you should ask... for my birthday, my husband got us an Annual Pass to National Parks and Forests. (Yes, that’s a real thing!) Our big adventure next year is trying to visit as many parks as we can. We've talked for years about getting an RV and doing a tour of the US, so this will be a great start. Wish us luck!
Q: I’ve heard that you enjoy hiking. What’s your favorite Strava feature when you’re hiking, and anything you'd like to see in the future?
A: I think it'd have to be "routes." I'm a big fan of anything that makes it easier for me to find a new trail to explore. If I could add one thing, it'd be the ability for me to log all of Watson's activities alongside mine. I could create a personalized "Year in Sport" for her right around her birthday. And have you seen my dog? …that thing would get a million kudos in minutes.
Jesse thanks so much for sharing with us, and good luck next year exploring the U.S. National Parks! We'll be looking forward to hearing an update on how it went.
Anyone else a fan of hiking and finding new trails? Drop us a reply below and let us know some of your favorite hiking trails, and where you most hope to hike next. If you have any favorite hikes near or in U.S. National Parks, we would love to hear about them!
Thanks for tuning in this week and be sure to subscribe to Tuesday Chat with Team Strava so you don't miss any future posts.
Love Watson's winter hat, we have a similar hat for one of our cats, but they refuse to wear it (typical cats).
My wife and I used to hike quite a bit when we lived in the Bay Area (Mountain View), but haven't gotten out too much since we moved east... we have some plans to get back into the woods over the holidays though - always great to get away from the 'cityscape'.
Note: our 'indoor jungle' consists of a single spider plant... I can't imagine the time/effort it must take to maintain that greenhouse you have!