The Dark Side


Cookies. The poor man’s donuts.

Summer is coming! Hooray! For me, that means packing up Bikey, my wetsuits, my running shoes, and heading to the Jersey shore for the summer. Oh, and my kids. I bring my kids, too. The Jersey shore is a paradise for any triathlete-in-training: the ocean and bay for open water swimming, plenty of country roads for long rides, and a beautiful beach for sunrise runs. But there is a dark side to my paradise. I’ll bet you have a dark side in your training world as well. By the end of this post, you’ll know your dark side. My dark side is named Roberta.

No, I don’t have some kind of multiple personality disorder. If I did, my multiple personalities would have really high paying jobs so I wouldn’t have to work, and I could get one of these: cervelo No. My dark side is a real, live person named Roberta.

wpid-wp-1427109561477.jpegAbsolutely fabulous

Roberta is my friend. She lives in Maryland and I live in Pennsylvania, but we both stay in Avalon, NJ for the summer. Our kids met on the beach and became friends, and then we did too. She is warm, generous, intelligent, hilarious and incredibly fabulous. I love her dearly. And she is responsible for 95% of my missed workouts from June to September.

Roberta offers you a glass of champagne every time you walk into her house. Champagne, you ask? What could you be celebrating? It could be anything. Yesterday’s sunset. Today’s sunrise. Tomorrow’s thunder-storm. It’s Tuesday! It’s July! It’s Flag Day/Bastille Day/Bolivian Independence Day! Let’s celebrate! She was my inspiration for the “champagne division” on our Cedar Island 5K swim in August. Roberta shares my affinity for donut culture. She’s the genius that taught me that a Kohler’s cream-filled donut pairs perfectly with, you guessed it, champagne.


I say, “I have to ride 60 miles tomorrow morning.” She replies, “You’re crazy. Go out to breakfast with me instead.” I say, “We are swimming 2 miles in the bay today.” She replies, “What time will you swim by the boat? I’ll be on my float. Stop by for a cocktail.” I leave the party early to get to bed early the night before a race, and she stays up until 2 a.m. dancing on the tables. Her own tables.

She is the reason for skipped workouts, shortened workouts, and workouts where I might be a little tipsy. She drives me crazy and keeps me sane, all at the same time. She tells me I’m nuts for swimming miles in the ocean when I could be sitting on a beach chair, and for riding my bike from home to the shore when a car gets the job done much more quickly. But she is also the first person to call me after every race, asking me how I did and telling me that I am awesome and amazing and that there is a glass of bubbly waiting for me at her house. She helps me find balance.

Roberta is my constant reminder that life is not a competition. It is wonderful and beautiful and something to be celebrated on a daily basis. And I love her for it. wpid-wp-1427058217871.jpeg

 Thank God for my Dark Side.


6 thoughts

  1. Joann and Roberta would get along very well. Although I’d prefer to label her my ‘bright side’ (self protective statement since nothing is private on www). This year I’ll try to keep up with you, but swimming with a Mediocre and Pro Triathlete against a strong current in high winds, my true dark side rears its ugly head “get out of the water before you drown!” Have a great safe summer!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mine is Jeff and Dog Fish Beer, shoot me an email. I took your advice and will do escape from the Cape and I would like a recommendation where to stay. Thanks, your running friend from the last Cheasapeake Endurance Festival

    Liked by 1 person

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