Preparing To Compete with the Futura 28



 The following is an account from my most recent triathlon. I finished 6th in a field of nearly 60 professional triathletes with a final time of 1:45.52 for the Olympic Distance (1.5K Swim, 40K Bike, 10K Run) event. This is not a race report or a race summary, though. I want to take this opportunity to show the importance of organizing both one's thoughts and one's equipment to achieve a desired result.

Racing provides an interesting framework for analyzing certain elements of human nature. Winners recognize opportunities and seize them while losers idly wait for opportunities to be handed their way. I know this is harsh, but sooner or later one must recognize this reality.


 Competing alongside the world's best triathletes for the past 3 years, I've learned that too much thought can be paralyzing. Thinking you deserve something because you've worked hard is insulting to your competitors. Haven't they worked hard as well? The clock starts at 0:00 for everyone. From that moment until you cross the finish line, one's willingness to take action at precisely the right moment will determine the outcome of the race. Organization for the sake of being organized is useless. Yet, organization matters a great deal when it leads to action. Organized equipment means you won't forget anything. Organized thoughts mean you will be prepared to act. Taking action at carefully planned moments will win races.

One's willingness to take decisive action at precisely the right moment, more than anything else, determines the outcome of my races. Endurance events have a funny way of rewarding the most efficient athlete. Sometimes the winner is the hardest worker in the field, but sometimes he's not. Sometimes he is the most talented in the field, but sometimes he's not. Sometimes he's the luckiest competitor in the field, but sometimes he's not that either. Always.  Always. Always. The winner is the person who takes the best actions between the starting line and the finishing chute.

During my most recent competition, I stuck with the leaders through the swim and bike portions, but on the run I made a decision to let the group of 5 guys I was running with go up the road with the hopes of catching them before the finish chute. "My stomach is killing me, I'm going to ease up. You'll get them, just give yourself a minute or two to get your legs under you then chase ‘em back down," I said to myself. Every one of those guys ended up beating me.


 Maybe I didn't have the fitness to win the race that day. Those five guys were better than me, and they should be congratulated for their efforts. Still, 6th pace is a tough pill to swallow when you wanted the win. Now, I return to training with this experience fresh in my mind. I reflect and learn, and then I will continue to move forward. After all, that's human nature!

Thought is good, but only when it is directed toward one's purpose. The excess only slows you down, often making difficult challenges seem insurmountable. Whatever your challenge, I hope my recent experience in triathlon helps you organize both your equipment and your thoughts in a way that promotes action towards your goal. Whatever challenge you're thinking of taking on--go out and get after it!

For organizing your equipment, I recommend using a Deuter Futura 28 backpack. For your thoughts, well, you're on your own. (I taped this saying on my bike to remind myself to be organized in my thoughts and decisive in my actions. Can you name the movie this quote is from? You'll find the answer at the bottom of this post)

–Joe Maloy (Outdoor Ambassador).

Get organized and get out going on your next goal!

(The quote is from Disney's The Greatest Game Ever Played)

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