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Illustration by Matt Collins.
Pro triathlete Jesse Thomas shares his personal gear/services/stuff checklist for balancing a crazy life.
Most triathletes are gear junkies—it’s the nature of a sport that is second only to NASCAR in the amount of equipment necessary to participate. And while I don’t view myself as a total gear dork, my jobs are definitely aided by lots of “stuff” on a daily basis. Plus, being a former product developer and now business owner, I have a particularly deep appreciation for well-designed stuff and services.
It’s no secret that I have sponsors who provide me with a few of the things listed here. And yes, it’s probably of some marginal benefit to them if I mention their products. But alas, this is not a sponsored piece in any way, shape or form. I didn’t tell any of them I was doing this, and I didn’t ask for anyone’s suggestions.
What I did do was go through my stuff—my backpack, garage, closet, car, hair, etc., and identified the things that I use often and thought were particularly valuable to me, and maybe not totally obvious. Given the day-to-day craziness of balancing my current Triathlife, I focused on products that have the following characteristics:
Save me time, hassle, headache and/or public embarrassment
Make me more effective as an athlete, business owner, husband and father
Anything that makes me say “booyah” every time I use it
So here is a bunch of stuff that does some or all of those things for me. Hopefully they will for you also.
Jaybird BlueBuds X headphones
No joke, these wireless, Bluetooth little dudes are either in my pocket or on my ears the entire day while riding, running, working, driving, making dinner, etc. I use them for phone calls, music, podcasts, audiobooks or just to pretend that I’m doing something important.
Mini fan, ear plugs and Tempur-Pedic Sleep Mask
I’m a fussier sleeper than my baby boy, so I use a mask, ear plugs and a tiny fan by my face every single night. High maintenance in the house! But I sleep better, which is the first step to doing anything well. The Tempur-Pedic mask is worth the extra coin because it lets you open your eyes with the mask on. Booyah!
I order almost everything online through AmazonPrime. My recent orders include tools, most of the stuff on this list, and yes, TP. The included two-day shipping saves lots of time and energy, especially now that every trip out of the house means bringing baby and his car full of gear.
Safeway roasted chicken, Daiya cheese, corn tortillas, guacamole in a bag
Heat two pans. Add tortillas and cheese. Microwave chicken for 1 min. Put chicken on cheese. Squirt some guac in there. Fold. This gluten-free, dairy-free meal can be made up to nine times a week and will always taste amazing. Prep time is 4–6 minutes, depending on the distance from microwave to stove.
Roka Sim Short
Designed to simulate a wetsuit body position in the pool, the Sim short also allows me to swim faster (2–4 sec/100) with the same effort when I’m with a fast group or I just need extra rest that day.
Remington Dual Blade Facial Trimmer
Lauren doesn’t dig a smooth-legged man, so I only shave on the road before my races. This face trimmer does a surprisingly fast and effective job of grooming my fur. Plus, it’s the size of a pen and battery operated, which means it’s super packable.
Patrick is my VP of operations at Picky Bars. We collaborate heavily and regularly, but he manages day-to-day operations at the office, enabling me to race, have a family and own a business without all three imploding. While Patrick isn’t for sale (at least I hope he’s not) the advice here is to identify where you may be able to employ your own Patrick—for business, financial management, groceries or other needs—who complements your skill set, can take over some of the stuff on your plate and enable you to spend more time doing the things only you can do.
ExOfficio underwear and Quiksilver Amphibian shorts
I have an incredible ability to sweat. This is the only underwear/shorts combo I’ve found that can handle that ability.
I only read at night when I’m in bed, which is why it took me two years to finish The Count of Monte Cristo. But Audible lets me listen to books at any time. I now have lots of time to learn.
Miss Jessie’s Quick Curls
If I didn’t use hair product after a workout, I’d not only look like a goober, but a small family of squirrels might jump out of my hair nest during a business meeting. This product works well on my curly fro, and it has the name Jessie in it.
Pearl Izumi P.R.O. Barrier Lite Jacket
Again, it’s all about efficiency. This light windbreaker/rain jacket gets me through about 20 degrees of temp and weather change, and crunches down super small to fit in a jersey pocket. I carry that jacket with me 10 months a year.
Hulu, Netflix and now HBO Go. Can you say “recovery”? Jude, my baby son, likes “The Sopranos.”
I know, what a surprise! Honestly, they’re always in my bag and are my go-to snack because they’re tasty, balanced and the perfect caloric size. I also leave them under my bed for when I wake up starving and I’m too hungry to fall back asleep but too tired to go to the kitchen.
Something always hurts, and a lacrosse ball has the perfect size, shape, hardness and grip for self-inflicted pain/massage. I always have one in my bag.
Motorola Razr Droid
I know everyone loves their iPhone blah blah blah. But seriously, the battery on this thing is so money, I never have to worry about it dying on my ride just because I also made a phone call that day.
Specialized Roubaix tires
All my non-race wheels have these tires on them. They never flat. It’s nuts! They save me time and keep my marriage intact because I never have to call Lauren for a pickup out in the middle of nowhere.
Google Drive and Documents
The system I use to collaborate with my Picky Bars team from anywhere, log my workouts and write articles like this one! Seamlessly used on phone and computer, always up to date.
Courtesy of triathlon.competitor.com
At JayBird we put our products through the ringer to make certain they stand up to the elements. We went for a mid-day run through the city that quickly turned into a snowy summit in the hills. Get outside and #EmbraceTheElements
http://www.jaybirdsport.com // PowerYourPassion
Life Time Fitness is the club of choice for JayBird and the place our employees go to help them stay active and fit. With the BlueBuds X now available in over 100 LTF locations throughout North America, we paid a visit to our local club and asked a random group of members to try out the BlueBuds X for themselves and see if they wanted to Cut the Cord and go wireless.
JayBird is the Official Earbud of Life Time Fitness. #PowerYourPassion
Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose
This forward bend variation will open tight shoulders and hamstrings.
Double Pigeon Pose
Happy Baby Pose
This hip-opening stretch is a great way to relieve tightness in the lower back.
Old Man Winter has come knocking with the start of the ski/snowboard season not far behind. JAYBIRD Ambassador Caroline Gleich never stops exploring and is always focused on staying in shape for whatever the seasons hold.
http://www.jaybirdsport.com // #EmbraceTheElements
Check out this commercial made by Philip Isaksen, 16 and friends for a school project!
It was very humbling receiving your email, JayBird praise!
High Fives! “Takk”.
Treat yourself this weekend with these healthy cookies!