The monsters in the dark: triathletes and 4:30am


Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

It’s there every morning. It’s been there my entire life. Most mornings it pokes me, pinches me, pushes me until I’m out of bed, on my feet. Listening for it’s coarse voice.

I squint my eyes, wipe away the bleariness, and focus on the clock.


Time get strong. Time to BE someone.

Time swim. Or bike. Or run.

That monster that lives inside of me that wants to know how far we can go. How hard we can push. The monster needs to know where the line is. He wants to know what happens when we step over it. He wants to know that we’re still alive.

So we’re up. The monster and me. In the dark. I’m listening.

We make friends and go about exploring the boundaries of my physical life. And the capacity of my mind.

I think that’s how it happens most mornings. I listen to him.

There’s another monster beneath my bed though. It’s voice is soft and soothing. It whispers quietly. Wraps me in my sheets and comforter. Turns my pillow to the cool side. Stay in bed. Just awhile longer.

I want to listen to that monster. But most mornings I can’t. The monster inside of me is too powerful. Cold, suffering, fatigue, and adventure more appealing than comfort.

I guess I’m proud of that.

But I’m not perfect.

And so, this morning, when the monster inside of me woke me for my trainer ride I rolled over and felt the embrace of the monster beneath my bed.

Stay in bed. Just awhile longer, it whispered.

I love you,

– Daddy


Sat: rode 2 hours

Sun: ran 80 minutes on the treadmill

Mon: rest

Tues: ran 35 minutes on the treadmill / Swam 2000

Wed: listened to the soft monster and slept in.